Boston Globe Says 'Domestic Partners' Will Lose Health Insurance Without 'Gay Marriage'

July 9th, 2006 7:47 AM

Jonah Goldberg at The Corner tipped us off to this story: The Boston Globe doesn't just favor "gay marriage," it's demanding it from gay employees who want "domestic partner" benefits. Jesse Noyes at the Boston Herald reported:

Memo to Boston Globe gay and lesbian Guild employees: Get married or lose your domestic partner benefits.

Globe staffers have been told that health and dental benefits for gay employees’ domestic partners are being discontinued. Gay couples who want to keep their benefits must marry by Jan. 1.

A memo sent to the Globe’s Boston Newspaper Guild members, and obtained by the Herald, states that Massachusetts gay Guild employees can extend their benefits to their partners only if they marry.

 “An employee who currently covers a same-sex domestic partner as a dependent will have to marry his or her partner by Jan. 1 for the employee benefits coverage to continue at the employee rates,” the memo states.

The policy change at the Globe, which devotes extensive coverage to gay issues, opens a new can of worms in the Bay State as employers rethink their domestic partner benefits in the wake of the legalization of gay marriage in 2004.

Benefits for domestic partners were originally offered to gay employees because they couldn’t legally marry, said Ilene Robinson Sunshine, a lawyer at Sullivan & Worcester.

Now that gay marriage is legal in Massachusetts companies that offer benefits to gay employees’ partners risk hearing cries of discrimination from unmarried straight couples.

Such concerns played a role in the policy change at the Globe, said Steve Behenna, the newspaper’s compensation and benefits director.

I can imagine this will cause an uproar on the gay left, as some won't want to be forced into legal domesticity for domestic-partner benefits.