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Domestic Offerings
Muted Real
wilowisp
I currently work in the Health Care industry. One of the big issue in health care lately is the offering of domestic partner benefits. I have been proofing a hell of a lot of dental and vision certificates over the last few weeks, and I've gotten to read the "Domestic Partner" section for this particular client over and over again. It's fascinating, not only that this client offers such things, but how the definitions of Domestic Partner vary from state certificate to state certificate.

In general, a domestic partner signs an affidavit that says "Yes, I'm his/her Domestic Partner. Yes, we each only have one Domestic Partner and no legal spouses. Yes, we've been Domestic Partners for at least 12 months. Yes, we are financial interdependent. Yes, I'm mentally competent."

W"hat varies from state to state?" you may cry out to me. Hark and hear me.

In some states, a domestic partner must be of the same sex. In others, a domestic partner may be of either the same or opposite sex.

In some states, a domestic partnership explicitly cannot be between two people so closely related by blood that marriage would be illegal. The interesting part about this is that it seems to imply that in the states where this caveat is not included, brothers or sisters can enter into domestic partnerships with each other.

This leads me into all sorts of crazy questions and arguments about the status of a domestic partnership, how it's suppose to represent an 'alternative to marriage', what it actually represents, blah blah blah. You know how completely theory-head I can go, even without theory to back me up. The good sentence to close on is actually this:

I find it strange that I work for a company that administers same-sex domestic partner benefits for other companies, and yet itself does not offer those benefits to its own employees; opposite-sex, legally married spouses only.

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Agreed...

(Anonymous)
It is for the very reasons you've listed above that I support gay marraige and not domestic partnerships. Let us get married!!!
G.

God forbid we want to make a binding, legal agreement to share care with someone we love but don't want to have sex with. I feel that our culture assumes that the minute we make a sexual connection with someone, have a relationship, we automatically stop having anyone else who is as important. I don't think that is always the case. Yes, falling in love eats your schedule, but you can still have other people who are just as important and you want to take care of them. What if my brother needed health care and we lived together on an ongoing basis, or my best friend? I am in favor of people being able to be with whoever they want to be with and able to share in the legal protections and benefits of said partnership. Whether you want to call it one thing or another, well, that may be a separate but closely related debate.

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