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OSU PSA

July 13th, 2004


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12:09 pm - I disagree entirely with this:
Ohio State now has domestic partner benefits. See if you can spot the problems I have:

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The OSU proposal has three program elements. Starting Oct. 1, same-sex partners of faculty and staff and their children may be enrolled into the faculty/staff medical, dental and vision plans with the same subsidies given to spouses and children. Graduate associates will be able to enroll the same group of dependents into student health plans starting Sept. 15.

The second program element, which takes effect Jan. 1, will allow faculty and staff to enroll other sponsored dependents into medical/dental and vision plans, but without a subsidy. Individuals eligible for this plan are opposite-sex partners, relatives by blood, grandparents-in-law, parents-in-law, brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law who meet eligibility requirements.

The third plan element will allow students to enroll domestic partners and children starting Jan. 3.

In order to be eligible, applicants must complete an affidavit stating they have lived with the individual for at least six months and are financially dependent.

===

1) The time-line is different for same-sex and opposite-sex couples.

2) Oposite-sex partners are not subsidized.

3) They have all the good intentions in the world, but they implemented it very poorly.
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Current Music: "Just an Old Truth Teller", -JB
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[User Picture]
From:gypsydove
Date:July 13th, 2004 09:33 am (UTC)
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hmmm i see...that does twist things...and is unfair...and is poorly implemented...

so what can you do about it??? can you talk to OSU or anyone? I am sure you can...i just don't know who....

doesn't your state have discriminatory laws or something??? I thought I had read that or maybe it is just my imagination...

I hope that voices will speak out about this and ears will listen and possibly fix it...

[User Picture]
From:shes_unreal
Date:July 13th, 2004 09:36 am (UTC)
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Married couples already get these benefits.

The benefits are for same-sex couples who, by state law, cannot get married. It's Ohio State trying to keep and recruit brilliant folks who consider themselves MARRIED, not just a couple of queers shacking up together.

They can't implement it all at the same time or they're probably going to lose a lot of money somewhere. It takes longer for students than faculty but you don't seem to have a problem with that.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:July 13th, 2004 10:35 am (UTC)
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What makes my relationship, nearly 7 years now, less important than two lesbians who have been together for 6 months? I am suddenly required to get married in order to obtain the same benefits as people who may or may not have the same level of commitment?

My seven year relationship is worth less than a six month relationship, just because I'm straight.

On this issue, I do not care that gay people cannot marry. That does not affect this. What does affect this is that straight people in the exact same relationship are being treated differently.

Just because I don't want to marry Tina right now, I'm different? We are financially dependant upon each other, and (if she were a guy) we would be treated as if we were married for the purposes of this. As she's a woman, we are not. Is that even remotely fair?

I completely disagree that there is a fundamental difference between gay people's relationships and straight people's relationships.

I fully support the idea of giving domestic partners benefits. I do not support giving only same-sex domestic partners certain benefits that opposite-sex domestic partners cannot have.

But then, here's my solution, if indeed the issue is that straight couples can just go get married without a care in the world: Eliminate benefits for unmarried dependents altoghether. If it's just a question of a marriage license, then let eveyrone go out and find someone of the oposite sex to marry. Obviously, the license means nothing, so why can't gay people and straight people alike do it?

The funding for this comes directly out of my paycheck, actually. I'm paying for domestic partner benefits whether I like them or not. It's about a 3.5% increase, I think. There isn't a loss of money, not really, unless you mean that I'm losing money. But I would gladly see a few more percents go out the window to see everything come out fairly.

It takes longer for students than faculty but you don't seem to have a problem with that.

You pointed out the stated purpose of it: to bring better faculty to OSU. It isn't for the students.

However, on the student level, note that it's equal in timing for both gay and straight couples.

Now, who said I didn't have a problem with that, anyway? I'm not a student; I'm staff, so it's less likely to affect me. Doesn't mean I don't care. I don't have the information about it, anyway. One line doesn't tell me what the benefits will look like, or whether it will depend on whether they're gay or straight. I don't form an opinion until I've seen the full extent of the info.
[User Picture]
From:rfunk
Date:July 13th, 2004 10:03 am (UTC)

I agree with shes_unreal

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It all goes back to gays not being able to get the benefits via marriage. You'll definitely see the rules change if Ohio law ever allows gay marriage or equivalent.

Is #3 a commentary on #1 and #2? If not, how is it implemented poorly in a way not covered by #1 and #2?

I thought OSU already had domestic partner benefits; as I recall that came about when I worked there. Did it disappear and come back again?
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:July 13th, 2004 10:36 am (UTC)

Re: I agree with shes_unreal

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Did it disappear and come back again?

They did. About 2 years ago, I wanna say?

See my response to the above.

3 is a commentary on the whole damn thing.
[User Picture]
From:garan_du
Date:July 13th, 2004 10:33 am (UTC)
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I concur with my esteemed colleagues. Gay and lesbian couples are not permitted to marry under Ohio law, a barrier that is not present for opposite-sex couples. They don't have a choice. The straight couples do. IMHO, if gay and lesbian couples were permitted to marry and have all the benefits associated thereto, there would be no logical reason to cover *any* unwed couples. Unwed straight couples are only being included to make covering queer couples "more palatable."

The difference in timelines is likely contractual in nature, or may be tied up with some budgetting process. Or maybe its just typical of a large bureacracy that they can't get their act together sufficiently to roll out one system. Who knows?
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:July 13th, 2004 11:00 am (UTC)
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IMHO, if gay and lesbian couples were permitted to marry and have all the benefits associated thereto, there would be no logical reason to cover *any* unwed couples.

This may be the case. However, I'm a firm believer that if you're going to extend it to one group, you can't have some wishy-washy reason like, "Oh, you're partner is the wrong gender," to make a distinction. Hell, that's what got us in trouble in the first place!

I fully support gay marriage, and always will. It poses no threat to my own relationships, and honestly, all the arguments against it are stupid.

However, I also don't think that saying "straight people can get married" is logical or good enough.
[User Picture]
From:rfunk
Date:July 13th, 2004 11:30 am (UTC)

benefits vs marriage

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The whole point here is to provide benefits to those who would get married if they could. The benefits to those who could get married but don't are pure political cover, nothing more. Now maybe what they've come up with is insufficient political cover, but it's still just political cover.

If Ohio law allowed gay marriage, this entire program would disappear. No more benefits at all for unmarried partners.

The difficult part is determining who would get married if they could, and leaving out those just trying to take advantage of the system. The six-month thing is an attempt to address that. But there's really no perfect way to cover it.
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:July 13th, 2004 11:40 am (UTC)

Re: benefits vs marriage

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The whole point here is to provide benefits to those who would get married if they could. The benefits to those who could get married but don't are pure political cover, nothing more. Now maybe what they've come up with is insufficient political cover, but it's still just political cover.

Even things done for political cover should be fair.
[User Picture]
From:rhiannon76
Date:July 13th, 2004 12:13 pm (UTC)

tangential, but...

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does ohio recognize common-law marriage?
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:July 13th, 2004 12:17 pm (UTC)

Re: tangential, but...

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No.
From:tanrinia
Date:July 13th, 2004 03:41 pm (UTC)

i agree with mike

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osu did have dom.part benefits a number of years ago. i believe the esteemed pres.-before-karen (i can't think of his name, and yet i shook his hand at 2 graduations) got rid of them. now we got rid of him :D

offering dom.part. bens to one group and not the other is the same as offering marriage to one group and not the other.

1. I'm fully and 100% IN FAVOR of gay marriage. anyone should be able to marry whomever they want and quite frankly as many of them as they want, so long as the relationships are consenting (which means legal age and non-exploitative and all that stuff)

2. marriage is not a romantic arrangement. it's an economic one. [if you don't believe me, ask anyone (like my husband) who has ever tried to disentangle a household in a non-marital-but-living-together situation. while divorce is no picnic, at least it has the benefit of an arbiter, the court, to say no you can't just leave the other person with all the bills].

3. marriage implies a level of commitment that 'shacking up' does not (see point 2 above) and as such, married partners should be the only ones entitled to get benefits off each other.

4. hence, this is why i am firmly in support of gay marriage :)

[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:July 14th, 2004 05:41 am (UTC)

Re: i agree with mike

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(i can't think of his name, and yet i shook his hand at 2 graduations)

Kirwin. But I got you beat. I played volleyball with the man.

offering dom.part. bens to one group and not the other

Well, they're offering them to both groups, but one group has to pay through the nose for the same benefits, even though they're in the exact same relationship.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:wishesofastar
Date:July 14th, 2004 11:19 am (UTC)

Just another thought...

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Hey Mike. Just figured I'd chime in. I'm afraid I have to agree with the folks who say the new plan is ok. Frankly, I don't have any sympathy for someone who has the option of getting the benefits that legal marriage confers, bitching that folks who don't have that option are being offered a couple (a MINOR couple) of those same benefits. Jeez. :rolls eyes:

On another note, if anyone here is in Columbus and is interested in showing their support for gay marriage, as well as a number of other civil liberty issues, the ACLU is having a rally here tomorrow. It's at the King Avenue Methodist church, and is free and open to the public. It starts at 7. Maybe I'll see some of you there. :)
[User Picture]
From:chronarchy
Date:July 15th, 2004 07:48 am (UTC)

Re: Just another thought...

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(a MINOR couple) of those same benefits.

A minor couple of benefits? $200/month is what the unsubsidized plan appears to cost. That's really minor, compared to the $36/month the subsidized plan costs, isn't it?

I don't have any sympathy for someone who has the option of getting the benefits that legal marriage confers, bitching that folks who don't have that option are being offered a couple...of those same benefits.

No. You misunderstand. Re-read what I said.

They have defined domestic partnerships exactly the same for straight and gay couples. That's good. Then they went and gave one of those two groups subsidized benefits and told the other to pay unsubsidized rates for their partners. That's bad.

But, basically, what you're saying is that two relationships that are defined with exactly the same criteria can be treated differently because of the gender of the partner? I disagree.
From:tanrinia
Date:July 17th, 2004 04:15 am (UTC)
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OSUs program is prolly the best they could come up with when one considers whatever other political interests might have had their fingers in the pie.

the entire thing would be MOOT if folks would grow up and realize that quickie divorce, spouse abuse, and a whole host of other things have done more to "destroy the institution of marriage" than a gazillion gay marriages ever could.

at least the amendment was 'delayed' (and probably de facto defeated). that's at least a step in the right direction.

i need a bumper sticker "against gay marriage? don't have one"

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