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Case study on granting domestic partnership benefits.

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Case study on granting domestic partnership benefits.

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  • November 3, 2008
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Domestic Partner

Running head: DOMESTIC PARTNER RELATIONSHIPS

Domestic Partner Relationships

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Domestic Partner Relationships

California is receiving considerable notoriety in newspaper headlines about legalizing domestic partner marriage. The Supreme Court's decision is a major victory in the equal rights movement for gay and lesbian couples but until now, the state of California or those doing business in California had no legal obligation to offer benefits to same-sex couples. Will the Supreme Court's decision have a positive or negative impact for a company offering benefit packages to its employees?

In most states where domestic partnerships are recognized, both partners must file a declaration of domestic partnership with the Secretary of State. Although the registration process validates domestic partners eligibility for benefits, currently those benefits are far from being the same as a traditionally married man and wife. The effect this has on corporations is minimal. Companies need only extend the same coverage offered to married couples and more often than not, those benefits are at the expense of the employee. Not many companies extend benefit coverage to the entire family at the companies expense.

Because of the strides that gay and lesbian couples are making in the area of legalizing same-sex marriage, the next obvious step in this process would be the inclusion of domestic partner benefits within every company nationwide. The question many are asking, what is a domestic partner? According to various definitions, domestic partners can consist of a gay or lesbian couple, or heterosexual couples who have been together for a substantial amount of time and are not legally married, also referred to as common-law, or in some circumstances, even married couples. It is our contention that every couple, whether same sex, different religious beliefs, or ethnic background, should first be considered as human...