Boeing Bows to Federal Law Even Though Washington Legalized Same Sex Marriage
This is exactly why Gay Marriage is a Federal issue and also why same sex marriage must be established not only at state levels through legislation, but also as a duly interpreted civil right in our Federal courts. It’s the reason I converted from a viewpoint of “let the Gays eat civil unions* ” just a few years back into a vocal proponent for recognition of Gay Marriage at a national level.
Gays, and their children deserve equal treatment before the law for their benefits, pensions, and everything else. Until case law, precedent, and policies are established based on equal treatment many corporations, institutions, and agencies will continue to rob descendants and spouses of Gays of their benefits because it saves them money.
Rights that can be voted away are not rights at all.Winning decisions for Same Sex Marriage must be achieved at a Supreme Court level because as long as DOMA dictates how benefits are denied, Gays can be denied rights. Even if DOMA were to be voted out by Congress, it could still be voted back in and Gays once again denied their rights so it’s very important that these rights be established by case law and multiple precedents. Rights that can be voted away are not rights at all, and this is the defining civil rights battle for the most recent American generations.
It’s not going to be over after the first Supreme Court case is won either; religious zealots and people who see ways to gain monetarily will continue to fight against it through loopholes and court battles for decades to come. So it’s time to saddle up and settle in for a protracted, rest of your life campaign if you support same sex marriage as I do — persistence is what will win these rights over time.
The Think Progress Article:
Boeing Company — one of the largest global aircraft manufacturers in the world — has told its union that it will likely deny ‘pension survivor benefits to same-sex married couples’ in Washington State, even after voters approved marriage equality in November, The Stranger reports.
Union representative Ray Goforth told The Stranger that Boeing during contract negotiations, the company maintained that pension benefits are governed by the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and that it does not plan to voluntarily offer benefits to the partners of their gay and lesbian employees.
*”Let the gays eat civil unions” is the stance that many in the center right take because they don’t want to stand up and be counted against the hard right religious zealots who really run the Republican party. It’s unprincipled, hypocritical, and lazy since most in the GOP happily enjoy all of the benefits of state sanctioned and federally protected heterosexual marriage benefits — it really is the equivalent of Marie Antoinette declaring that the peasants can eat cake.