Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Seeing Red—and Pink

Years ago, when part of my job was to research best practices in business management and leadership, one controversial topic was benefits for same-sex partners. But it wasn’t controversial for the reasons you might expect. Morality and religion were absent from the conversation.

Instead, HR directors were fearful that any couple—whether homosexual or heterosexual, committed to one another or not—could file for benefits. People could even PRETEND to be part of a couple and get benefits. Give same-sex committed partners the privilege of receiving benefits and you open the door to providing the same to noncommitted same-sex couples, which opens the door to opposite-sex committed unmarried partners receiving benefits, which naturally snowballs into noncommitted unmarried opposite-sex couples getting the same, and pretty soon everybody is getting benefits.

I laugh about this now because the solution is so easy: equal marriage rights. Benefits go to married couples, not longtime partners or faux couples. By making marriage lawful for same-sex couples, corporations won’t have to fret over how to determine whether a couple is bona fide. If couples want protection and recognition under the law, they’ll marry; if not, they won’t.

The issue becomes black and white. Or red and pink.

Isn’t it time for us to stand on the right side of history?

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