Google Covers Benefits Discrepancy to Gay Domestic Partners: Everyone Freaks Out
Yesterday, the New York Times posted an article about Google raising pay for gay employees whose insurance premiums are higher than married couples if they have registered domestic partners on their policies who aren’t dependents. Predictably, everyone has freaked out.
It’s discriminatory against straight people! Or so I’ve heard. And, you can’t base benefits on someone’s personal life.
To be fair, I’m not 100% for this policy. Google, according to the article, won’t extend the same benefit to heterosexual domestic partners as those couples have the freedom to marry. Marriage is a right, not a responsibility. If heterosexual couples should choose to register as domestic partners, rather than marry, they shouldn’t be penalized for that.
But that’s my only problem. And it’s my problem.
And, you know what? Google is a publicly traded company owned by its shareholders. It’s not a government agency. It’s not a service you are forced to use. Don’t like Google’s policy? Then use Yahoo!.
Let’s tackle the discriminatory policy argument, though.
You know what else Google does? It extends maternity leave to five months with full pay and benefits. Far above the amount required by law. That’s discriminatory against women who don’t have children! Let’s hear your complaints about that.
According to the New York Times article:
Under federal law, employer-provided health benefits for domestic partners are counted as taxable income, if the partner is not considered a dependent. The tax owed is based on the value of the partner’s coverage paid by the employer.
Are you all going to complain about that legal discrepancy? Oh, no, no, no. “Family values!” For a gay person to demand the same treatment is “special rights.”
The same people who are against sexual orientation being included in federal anti-discrimination laws don’t seem to have a problem with that discrepancy. They’re not advocating (most of them) all anti-discrimination policies being done away with; they just don’t want gay people included.
The same people who want businesses to be able to hire who they want and not be forced to recognize same sex partnerships are now screaming “lawsuit” because Google, of its own free will, made a choice with which they don’t agree.
You can’t have it both ways. Either a business is free to set its own rules, or it’s not. Either the 14th Amendment applies to all people, or it doesn’t. By picking and choosing, the people screaming the loudest sound … exactly like a bunch of Leftists. Wah! You can’t favor one group of people over another!
You’re two sentences away from calling for “social justice.”
Read the comments on this post at the Bay Area’s NBC affiliate for an example. They range from everything to “God hates sodomites,” to “I’m going to sever all ties with Google and their advertisers.”
Great. Go for it. Sever your ties with Google. That’s your right. Know who else has made this same decision? The Bill Gates Foundation. Most of Gates’ money comes from his ownership of Microsoft. Going to switch to Apple? Careful, they have very liberal LGBT “friendly” standards as well.
Cisco, the premier maker of routers and switches, on which the entire Internet operates, has the exact same policy as Google is going to implement. If you work in IT, you better rip out your Cisco equipment and replace it with something else. If you don’t, better stop using the Internet, because I guarantee your HTML header requests and emails go through several Cisco routers.
How about the Kimpton Hotels? Yep, already been there and done that.
In fact, leftist LGBT advocacy group, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), is supporting legislation to correct the federal government’s “inequality” in the taxation of benefits based on marital and domestic partnership status. Since I know you’ll want to boycott all businesses in support, here’s a full list. Good luck.
Remember, these are the businesses supporting the government tax policies be changed for everyone everywhere, not those implementing a change within their own corporations. Know who’s on that list? Microsoft. Throw your computers away!
Or, maybe, since you’re against such “special rights” for gay couples, I’m sure you’ll also be against “special rights” for married couples and will fully support the government enforcing this policy on all citizens, including employers, rather than allowing businesses to govern themselves.
It’s like this: either a business has the right to set its own policies or it doesn’t. You can’t rant about over-reaching government enforcement of “special rights” when you don’t like one law, and then invoke government protection on the exact same issue because it offends your ideals. It makes you a hypocrite.
The real slippery slope here isn’t a gay or straight one, or a liberal or conservative one. It’s a progressive one. When the government starts interfering in personal lives, in how businesses are run, and in who gets what benefit, it opens itself up to demands for equality which, quite frankly, are fully constitutional in their demands: equal protection under the law.
Less government, people, which means that sometimes, businesses are going to support things you don’t like. Get over it. Real civil rights are being eroded by both sides under the guise of “life ain’t fair.” You’re right. It isn’t. If you want to sue Google because it’s unfair to your sensibilities, might as well jump on the Obama bandwagon now, because you’re no different than he is.
UPDATE: Here is a full list of Google’s Employee Benefits (not with all the details, I’m sure.) Chock full of unfairness based on personal lives and family situations. Why weren’t you upset about those?
UPDATE 2: According to FoxNews.com, Klimpton hotels offers tax benefit correction to ALL domestic partners, which I fully support without hesitation.