Monday, April 25, 2005


This is the time of year that I get really irritated. It's Open Enrollment at the University and I am constantly reminded that as a Partner and Step-mother in a Same-Sex couple, I am worth nothing to my employer.

The U pays a portion of my medical premiums. I am only required to pay $44.82 per month for some great benefits.

However, if I want to add my partner, I pay $353.60 per month, and add my stepdaughter, $618.54 per month. I pay the full premium for both my partner and stepdaughter, even though I am financially responsible for their medical bills just as much as a married stepmother.

It doesn't make any sense to me.

If I were legally married, my employer would pay a portion of both my spouses and children's premiums. I would pay $73.44 for a spouse and $106.86 for spouse and child.

Let me emphasize this fact: The University pays over $500 in benefit premiums to a straight, married couple with children than they do me, even if we do the same job. That’s 6 grand a year more in compensation because of their sexual orientation and willingness to have children.

Those insurance rates are a slap in the face to every LGBT employee of this University. The Administration has basically said "We will pay you 6 grand less a year in benefits because of your 'lifechoice.'” Guess what? Getting married and having children is a 'lifechoice' as well - it has nothing to do with equal compensation for equal work.

I wouldn't care if the U said "Here’s a check for the difference because you are worth the same to us as a straight, married parent who does your same job," but they don't. They would rather us LGBT employees shut up and pay the premiums as a blessing.

That is the effect of passing Amendment 3 – LGBT families unable to afford health insurance. I would think the University of Utah would be much more progressive than that.

I've got news for the University Administration - there are many private employers who do pay equal compensation for equal work. The sooner the U wakes up and realizes they are discriminating against LGBT families, the sooner they will stop losing their valuable employees to the private sector.


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