Argh, Bennett's favorite topic. Why is the definition of marriage so hard to comprehend for liberals? I have nothing against gays and lesbians but WTH? Why do they want government to sanction their relationships anyway?
Probably for the same reasons that heterosexuals do.
Mr. Howard seems to be concerned about the potential for fraud with domestic partner benefits. Keep in mind that such benefits (unlike benefits for married couples) are reported as taxable income. In addition, the employee is risking their job if they are caught (and the other person would be liable for the full cost of any medical services received--not just the premiums). Both public and private employers have been offering such benefits for decades and fraud hasn't been a big issue.
Again, the gay thing is way overblown. Obama has to keep the issue in the public eye in order to continue to DIVIDE the country into special interest groups, create protest and conflict in order to capture votes.
Actually most of the recent media attention has been focused on the various court cases around the country. Both Federal and State courts have been presented with challenges to state laws and state constitutional provisions prohibiting same sex marriage. Every court to rule in the past year has ruled that banning same sex marriage is a violation of the 14th amendment. Obama doesn't have a role in these cases.
I haven't seen any petition drives to eliminate benefits for families of city employees.
Yes, what about fairness to gay taxpayers whose tax money is being used to provide benefits to dependents only of heterosexual employees?
Passed by Congress June 13, 1866. Ratified July 9, 1868.
Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
When the TN marriage statute gets into Federal Court and is scrutinized with respect to the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution, here is what happens:
Let me see if I got this right. First you deny people the freedom to marry and then you criticize them for having "unmarried sex".
Constitutional rights are not subject to a popular vote. Within the past year, 15 federal courts have considered the constitutionality of state bans on same sex marriage. All 15 courts have decided that such bans violate the 14th amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The list includes District Courts in Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin as well as the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals that affirmed the lower court's ruling in Utah. Oral arguments in the 6th Circuit for Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, and Tennessee are scheduled for early next month. There is a good chance that SCOTUS will hear a marriage equality case in their next term. Since the Federal DOMA decision last year, opponents of marriage equality have not been able to come up with a single argument that stands up in court.
There are ways that domestic partner coverage could be added without increasing the total cost. For instance, the city could implement a waiting period for new employees before they could cover their dependents. If you tell a 20-year employee that the city can't afford to cover their partner of 10 years while then covering the dependents of a new hire, the affordability explanation is not credible.
I think the magnitude of the retiree benefit funding shortfall is such that minor adjustments to the employee benefit program would be insufficient to overcome it.
Whether the city made the right decision when terminating health coverage for retirees while continuing to provide coverage for dependents of active workers is not the question on the ballot.
Voting down the domestic partner ordinance won't bring back the retiree benefits. All it will do is continue to deny equal benefits to some current city employees (including police officers and fire fighters) who have served the residents of Chattanooga for many years and who have been short changed on their benefits compared to their co-workers for their entire careers.