Monday, July 08, 2002
Survivor Benefits for Domestic Partners

I was in Tampa over the weekend. The local Gay Pride celebration was going on (although that wasn't my reason for being there). The local paper, The Tampa Tribune carried this article about a cop who was killed on the job last year, and her surviving domestic partner's attempt to receive her pension.

I know that many would like to see us go directly to gay marriage. I think that's the long-term way to go. But in the meantime, securing domestic-partner benefits is the way I think we have to go. It's doable in different contexts (private and public), and it's doable at different levels (city, county, state, federal employees regarding government entities).

I'm working on securing such by my employer. It won't do my partner as much good as it could have by the time I might be able to get this worked through, but it will be the right framework to have in place for others who will benefit. It's unlikely we'll secure marriage rights here in Florida anytime soon: we can't even legally adopt as couples here. But individual corporate and governmental entities can and should implement DP benefits.

That won't end the necessity of jumping through other legal hoops regarding disposition of property, health-care surrogacy, etc., but it will make a few aspects of contemporary life -- oh, paying for health care -- easier to come by.