City Desk

Gay Marriage Debate: Another Reason to Ditch Employer-Based Health Care!

Today, the D.C. Council sent a bill legalizing gay marriages in the District to the full council for a Dec. 1 vote. And during committee discussion today, there seemed to be little willingness to compromise on the ancillary issue of the day: whether the bill would cause the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington to withdraw from social service programs.

The archdiocese's issue seems to come down to two issues: adoptions to same-sex couples (which are already legal, as it happens), and mandated employee benefits for same-sex spouses of archdiocese employees.

As WaPo's Tim Craig reports, neither of the bill main sponsors, Phil Mendelson or David Catania, are budging on the issue. Said Mendo: "The way this issue has been approached by the archdiocese in the past week was tantamount to drawing a line in the sand and it may be hard for them to show some flexibility." Catania went on to ask how the archdiocese could give employee benefits to "fornicators and adulterers" but not gay couples.

LL's quick thought: Isn't this yet another argument for abandoning the already problematic employer-based health insurance model? Why should the institutional policies of an employer, subject to religious/moral/political dealings, affect the well-being of employees and their families?

Discuss.

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  • BobinDC

    "The archdiocese's issue seems to come down to two issues: adoptions to same-sex couples (which are already legal, as it happens), and mandated employee benefits for same-sex spouses of archdiocese employees."

    This bill would not change the healthcare requirements for anyone. D.C. already recognizes same-sex couples married in other jurisdictions. If it isn't a problem now, it won't be a problem after the bill passes.

    In San Francisco, almost a decade ago, Catholic Charities dropped health coverage for their married employees and replaced it with a plus-one system. No questions about who that second person is as long as they live in the employee's home.

  • Tom

    Catania went on to ask how the archdiocese could give employee benefits to "fornicators and adulterers" but not gay couples

    - The difference (in theory) is that those fornicators and adulterers can repent. In the eyes of a LGBT member there is nothing to ask forgiveness for therefore they will not repent and will be damned (in theory).

  • Tom

    "Catania went on to ask how the archdiocese could give employee benefits to "fornicators and adulterers" but not gay couples"

    - The difference (in theory) is that those fornicators and adulterers can repent. In the eyes of a LGBT member there is nothing to ask forgiveness for therefore they will not repent and will be damned (in theory).

  • Charlie

    Do they give health benefits to Catholics who remarry after divorce? They don't recognize these as valid marriages either.

  • Reid

    It's so obvious that this has nothing to do with religion. As others have said, if they're worried about being forced to recognize legally a marriage they don't recognize religiously, then what's their policy on Catholic employees who marry outside the faith without getting a dispensation?

    Their arguments are facially ridiculous and dishonest, which pretty much describes most of what comes out of the Catholic church these days.

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