Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Wednesday night, I attended the Ulster County Legislature’s Democratic Caucus.

One of the issues that was discussed was the addition of heterosexual partnership benefits to be offered to employees of the County.

Frank Dart commented on the issue; stating that the benefits the Legislature offered same sex couples last year is considered discriminatory in that it doesn’t recognize opposite sex couples who partner up the same way.

Susan Zimet countered that the offer was made because of the discriminatory lack of contract options for same sex couples not permitted in NY State. However, there is a long list of major corporations and other levels of government that already include all domestic partnerships.

If we were in Massachusetts, where marriage equality is already afforded to all couples, the issue of domestic partner benefits to just same sex couples would be considered discriminatory in the practice of excluding opposite sex couples.

In New York State however, we are only a few steps away from recognizing same sex marriages from other states, but not offering marriage equality ourselves. Thank you Gov Paterson.
We have further to go before gay men & lesbians lose their second class status in the Empire State.

The caucus plans to send the issue back to Phil Terpening’s Committee to further study the financial impact of the benefits being offered. Initially, the Legislature figured, with the limited number of same sex couples expected to take advantage of the offer, they would get an estimate of the cost of offering the benefits to all domestic couples.

Note: The small number of couples who opted into the domestic partners package, did so with a modification to their own tax bracket. Eligibility of coverage is considered income by New York State and as such, changes the level of income as more than just the sum of the two. This diminished the actual number of applicants who joined the program.

I expect, sometime in the next decade, NY State will follow a progressive path and offer same sex marriage and end the second class citizenship issue. It's up to the NY State Senate.


Anonymous said...

Why do City tax dollars support the discriminatory Hibernians(Irish Catholic Only), but we are not suppose to discriminate on sexual preference.

Anonymous said...

Important! Check out this article:

"Palin Iraq War 'A Task that is from God'" - Road Runner - @

The Assembly of God, a fundamentalist evangelical group that has been deemed cultic, deceptive and Armegeddon-bound (a favorite of some of those associated with the Bush Adm.) - by some cultic studies groups - appears to be (think Rev. Pat Robertson for a moment...) associated with Palin, as well...

And, as I note on Cahill's blog, I DON'T think any of us (other than those associated WITH the group) want to see the Assembly of God become any more empowered than they already are!

In fact, the Assembly of God - in the U.S.A. - could well become the equivalent of the Taliban in Afghanistan! Potentially lethal...

Anonymous said...

The Hibernians are anti - gay/lesbian - don't be fooled. They use City taxpayer dollars but Catholic says NO NO.