In the Kentucky senate, a committee voted 8-0 to ban any extension of benefits to same-sex partners for state employees. (Read more here.) While I think it's discriminatory and wrong, I can at least understand the logic of states who have decided to prohibit gay marriage or civil unions. I can at least understand the (erroneous) assumptions and (irrational) fear hyper-conservatives are using in these cases. But this move in Kentucky is the latest in a new and baffling step in the lunacy of our nation's increasing gay panic.
This law would mean that universities, such as the University of Louisville, would not be ALLOWED to extend health insurance and other partner benefits to same-sex partners. The University of Kentucky plans to extend such benefits in the Spring too. The same thing happened in Michigan, where the issue is now on its way to the state supreme court. I just don't understand how a few more people having health insurance is bad for a state. Or how it hurts "traditional" marriage. Or how a state can justify preventing people for paying to get insurance. Isn't having a larger pool of members good for an insurance group? Isn't access to health care supposed to be a pretty damned good idea no matter who you are? And for the record, only 8 people signed up when the University of Louisville offered the benefit. It's not going to break the bank, folks.
Would such legislation even be considered if sexual orientation weren't the issue? What if we tried to say state employees, including university and school district employees, couldn't put their partner on their insurance if they were Asian? Or Methodist? If you can afford health insurance, you should be allowed access to it. Of course, I'm also just crazy enough to think that EVERYONE should have access to health care and/or insurance, not just those who can currently afford it.
I just don't understand why health insurance, a library card, access to the gym, or reduced tuition rates are such a scary thing to uber-conservatives. "My god...if they get Blue Cross/Blue Shield, what's next?" "Homos with prescription co-pays will destroy the moral fabric of America!" "We must protect the institution of deductibles from these deviants!"