Every day that passes, we seem to be one step closer to accepting gay marriage even more and giving it the recognition it deserves. Recent polls have proven that the majority of Americans strongly feel that gay marriage should be legal, and currently nine states plus Washington D.C., have legalized gay marriage. Hopefully, it won't be much longer until the rest of the country steps up and joins the club. Alabama? We're waiting!
With the legality of same-sex marriage comes the issue of how these unions should be treated within the workplace. Although there are still some companies who fight tooth and nail to avoid having to pay insurance for the partner of a married gay employee, those who are aware of the financial end of things, see this as a chance to save money.
On Wednesday, a brief was filed to the Supreme Court that contained over 200 signatures for some of the largest companies in the United States. The intention was to overturn a section of the Defense of Marriage Act that federally denies both benefits to and recognition of the partners of same-sex marriages.
With such heavy hitters like Apple and Citigroup, those hoping for a change in the act, having done the math, realized that not only is there an inhumane level to not treating same-sex and heterosexual married employees the same, but there's a financial burden as well. Different rules and laws for these couples result in, according to The New York Times, "high administrative costs as companies maintained dual systems of tax withholding and payroll." It also leads to tax burdens where there could be breaks instead, as well as financial issues that can damage retirement and life insurance.
In denying these couples their human right, and not allowing it to be acknowledged by the company for whom they work, also does a severe number on employees. Who the wants to work for a place where your gay co-worker is treated like a second-class citizen, both socially and economically?
Even the most sinister of business owners, the type who do not have it in the their heart to accept those who love differently than they do, at least have the need to keep their pockets full. If that isn't reason enough for companies who may be fighting the brief to help in the efforts to overturn it, then nothing will. And obviously those people care more about discriminating than making a buck, and that makes them even worse than we already thought they were.
Companies work efficiently when employees are happy and are treated as equals. Having different policies for gay and straight couples is not only archaic and ignorant, but a financial waste all around.
Health benefits and retirement funds, just like marriage itself, should be a right. Anyone who would argue this based solely on it being gay versus straight is missing the point entirely.
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