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Same-Sex Benefits on the Rise
Wisconsin State Journal ^ | June 12, 2005 | Andres R. Martinez

Posted on 06/13/2005 7:13:32 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin

WASHINGTON - Gay and transgender workers were more likely than ever to receive domestic-partner health benefits last year, and more companies are adopting nondiscrimination policies to protect them, a leading gay- activist group reported.

But gays' workplace gains have slowed since the '90s, according to figures that the group, the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign, compiled for its annual "State of the Workplace" report. That's probably because of the rising costs of health benefits. Social conservatives said their resistance to such efforts was a factor.

Fortune 500 companies were most likely to protect gay and transgender workers, according to the survey. It found that 82 percent of them include sexual orientation in their written nondiscrimination policies. The number that protected transsexuals grew from three to 51 from 2000 to 2004. The number that offered domestic- partner benefits grew almost 10 percent from 2003 to 2004, from 199 to 216.

Overall, the report said, 8,250 U.S. companies offered some form of domestic-partner health benefits in 2004, compared with 7,324 in 2003.

Joe Solmonese, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, a gay-rights group that claims 600,000 members, said workplace nondiscrimination policies and health benefits for all domestic partners were good business.

"It's not only the right thing to do, but it's good for the bottom line," Solmonese said. "It's time for business leaders to follow their own favorite mantra: What's good for business is good for America."

Social conservative groups, such as the American Family Association, disagree. It has called for boycotting The Walt Disney Co. of Burbank, Calif., and Ford Motor Co. of Dearborn, Mich., for their support of gays in the workplace.

The group announced Monday, however, after meeting with a group of Ford dealers, that it would postpone action against the automaker until December.

Don Wildmon, the president of the American Family Association, said in an interview that he found the gay-rights group's findings unsurprising.

"The homosexual and lesbian and bisexual and transgender movement has made great strides in getting the attention of corporate America and getting them to do what they want them to do," Wildmon said.

"These groups have done a great job of incorporating their cause with traditional minority groups," he continued. The crucial difference, he added, was that gays and transsexuals are "the only minority which is based on sexual behavior."

The rate at which companies adopt nondiscrimination policies and domestic-partner benefits has slowed since the 1990s, however.

From 1995 to 1999, for example, the number of U.S. employers that offered domestic- partner health benefits grew nearly tenfold, from 398 to 3,475. From 2000 to 2004, the number roughly doubled, from 4,269 to 8,250.

The Human Rights Campaign's survey was based on public records and information provided voluntarily by companies and their workers.

From those materials, the group created a Corporate Equality Index. Fifty-six companies earned perfect scores, among them Apple Computer Inc., Cargill Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., Ford, Hewlett-Packard Co., Nike Inc., PepsiCo Inc. and Pfizer Inc.

TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; US: Washington
KEYWORDS: applecomputer; cargill; ciscosystems; corporateamerica; fordmotor; fortune500; hewlettpackard; homosexualagenda; hp; nike; pepsico; pfizer; workplace

1 posted on 06/13/2005 7:13:32 AM PDT by Diana in Wisconsin
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
The crucial difference, he added, was that gays and transsexuals are "the only minority which is based on sexual behavior."

That's not true. Serial killers are a minority. Arsonists are a minority. There are lots of minorities out there whose rights are not fully protected by employers.

2 posted on 06/13/2005 7:25:42 AM PDT by speedy
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To: Diana in Wisconsin

Personally, I think this is the right way to go.
Hospitals frequently will NOT allow anyone
short of a blood relative to visit a patient
other than a spouse. And they certainly will
not reveal any information about the patient
beyond "critical" or "stable."

Some "significant others" find themselves at
odds with the partner's family; sometimes even
their own family. Without some kind of legal
documentation of their wishes beyond a will,
the family can quash many financial projects
the pair might undertake. I'm parroting what
I've heard/read on line by individuals who
found themselves in that situation.

I'm all for recognition of same sex legal
protection. But I am totally against the
MARRIAGE contract between them. With the
legal setup, they do not need state sanction
of their union. Nor do they need the state's
approval to walk away from their partner.

The protestation that they are "just like
everyone else" is ridiculous. The people
who insist on marriage recognition are just
trying to poke a thumb into society's eye...
in the same manner as wearing exposed belly,
nose, tongue rings.

3 posted on 06/13/2005 7:27:44 AM PDT by Grendel9 (uick)
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Comment #4 Removed by Moderator

To: angrylibertarian

IM having a little confusion here. Maybe someone can clear it up for me. How many sexes are there? From all the articles in the media im figuring it is something like this:

1. male

2. female

3. male homosexual

4. female lesbian

5. bi, either male or female

6. transgender either male or female, but mostly male to female.

7. Crossdresser.

I, of course grew up with the idea that either you were male or female depending on if you had an innie or an outie. But having been enlightened now by our wonderful society, im just trying to get a handle on the real deal. Someone who is more enlightened than i might be able to figure it out, please help if you can,

5 posted on 06/13/2005 7:55:29 AM PDT by TrailofTears
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To: angrylibertarian
And yes, that means that I think gays should be allowed to marry whoever they want. Limiting marriage to heterosexual couples, in my mind,

HOw about we just get the government out of marriage altogther? We'd end a lot of this controversy. You don't need a government license to have children - why on earth should you need one to marry?

6 posted on 06/13/2005 7:59:20 AM PDT by A Ruckus of Dogs
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To: A Ruckus of Dogs
HOw about we just get the government out of marriage altogther?

I think it's a great idea. Unfortunately, I've yet to hear a single politician espouse that belief.
7 posted on 06/13/2005 8:21:18 AM PDT by tonenili
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To: TrailofTears
I think the transgender category can be further broken down into:
  1. Persons born female who have surgically and otherwise convinced themselves they are male (sort of); and
  2. Persons born male who have surgically and otherwise convinced themselves they are female (sort of); and.
  3. A really bizarre category of people stuck somewhere in the middle of the process of 1 or 2 (above) who never really follow through. I propose the term "intergender".

When I first arrived in Atlanta 10 years ago I was at Hartsfield Airport waiting for my luggage and observed a fellow in iridescent hot pants, a halter top holding some sort of padding (with copious chest hair protruding above it) and a blonde wig surrounding a manly face with Fred Flintstone like 5 o'clock shadow and bright red lipstick. That bizarre sight has been repeated numerous  times in downtown Atlanta and in various places around the metro are over the intervening years. A few years after I moved here I learned that there is a concentration of plastic surgeons who specialize in the plumbing changes necessary for a gender change - and that helps to explain the conspicuous frequency of such freak show sightings.

8 posted on 06/13/2005 8:42:42 AM PDT by Wally_Kalbacken (Seldom right, but never in doubt.)
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To: Wally_Kalbacken

Thanks for the further insight. I am used to hearing the terms gays, lesbians, bi's and transgenders, of course that is to be added to the good old regular male and female. that alone makes 6 sexes being promoted, and then they have now added crossdressers. SHEESH take the pants down. IF you have an innie your a girl, if you have an outtie your a boy. LOL

9 posted on 06/13/2005 8:59:44 AM PDT by TrailofTears
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To: Diana in Wisconsin
I am sure the socialists here would like to have laws passed that tell privately owns companies who they can spend their benefits on.

(sarcasm) Heaven forbid that a company thinks outside of the box, that would be... Freedom... And we can't have the here...(sarcasm end)

10 posted on 06/13/2005 9:36:31 AM PDT by Paul C. Jesup
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To: angrylibertarian

From what you say, I can tell you would favor gay
couples being allowed to adopt children, too.
Sorry, I'll never approve of that...and it's not
my religion (entirely) that influences my decision
on that matter. Just pure moral standards.

I had no problem with gays before they insisted on
stepping into the lime light and flaunting their
choices. We have several couples of both sexes
committed to their life partners. They give noone
any flack, and everyone respects their privacy. We'll
never see them out demanding their rights...they have
all they ever wanted or needed right now.

But now, it's time for me to flaunt rights!

I taught school for 30+ years...was there when the
courts forced schools to do away with the dress
code. That's when our kids' morals went down hill
fast, MTV went raunchy, and Clinton's Surgeon-
General, Dr. Jocelyn Elders, announced schools should
issue condoms to the kids! Gays coming out of the
closet seemed a bit benign by comparison. In support
of the cause, the ACLU decided to attack America's
religious base by banning the Pledge of Allegiance,
Christian icons, the BOy Scouts and teaching children
that gay/lesbian alternatives are good choices.

No need to worry about the foreign terrorists doing
in this country. Some of America's most insidious
enemies evolved right here under the Liberal banner.

11 posted on 06/16/2005 6:09:48 AM PDT by Grendel9 (uick)
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