NGLTF Exposes Miscommunication Campaign Tactics of Right Wing

March 13, 2003

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force today exposed the far-right wing's tactics in trying to lobby for unequal treatment of same-sex domestic partners and their families.

The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force has always advocated for equal health coverage for all employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. In other words, if an employer pays for health coverage of an employee and that employee's married spouse, then employees with domestic partners should have that equal benefit. If an employer pays for health coverage of an employee and allows an employee to add coverage for a spouse or child with the employee covering the cost of the additional family members, then that same and equal option should be offered to domestic partners and their children.

However, a press release issued by the anti-gay right-wing group Concerned Women for America (CWFA) quoted Gary Glenn of the American Family Association of Michigan who used incomplete information reported in the March 7 edition of the Washington Blade.

From the CWFA release:

Glenn said NGLTF officials' "glaring hypocrisy" revealed March 7 in a lead story by The Washington Blade, a homosexual newspaper published in Washington, D.C. will be extremely helpful in his and other pro-family groups' efforts to oppose the adoption of so-called "domestic partner" benefits by private employers and state and local governments.
"NGLTF Director Lorri Jean's admission that same-sex benefits for her own employees were 'prohibitively expensive' is now Exhibit A in the case we'll make to employers concerned about the rising cost of health care," he said.
NGLTF's public position on so-called "domestic partner" benefits is published on the NGLTF website, as follows:
It Will Cost Too Much. The most common reason cited by companies who do not implement DP benefits is the perception that to do so would be cost prohibitive. ... [T]hese concerns are baseless. ...If a company cares about its employees and about the values of fairness and nondiscrimination, it should treat all employees equitably, no matter the price tag.
Glenn said it is NGLTF's private rather than its public position on the issue that reflects the economic realities of adding to an employer's "insurance pool" new individuals whose homosexual lifestyle makes them more likely to be disproportionate consumers of healthcare services, thus driving up premium costs for the pool of employees as a whole.

Again, the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force advocates for equal treatment of all employees. Our domestic partner policy perspective is now, and has always been, that no discrimination in health policy should exist due to the sexual orientation of employees and their partners. The facts, as far as NGLTF internal policies are concerned, are:

    Two year's ago our insurance carrier offered no domestic partner coverage. Today, we have a new plan that does.

    NGLTF pays the full health coverage premium for employees.

    NGLTF pays 50% of the health coverage premium for employees' partners, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

While the radical right wing will grasp at any excuse to bend facts to fit their anti-GLBT discrimination campaign, NGLTF stands proudly behind its incredibly competitive and generous benefits package and challenges businesses and organizations to stand up to the right wing lobbyists and do the right thing by providing equal coverage for all employees regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. For more information on Domestic Partnership, please visit the NGLTF issues Web page.