Is it discrimination when an employer offers health insurance benefits to same gender domestic partners but doesn’t offer it to opposite gender domestic partners?

Asked on December 2, 2011 under Employment Labor Law, Indiana


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No...while you might think this is discrimination, it has been repeatedly held to not be discrimination. That is because "opposite gender domestic partners" have an option available to them which same gender domestic partners do not have, and which, if they take it, will enable them to be on each other's health insurance--they can get married. Being able to marry (and get coverage that way) means they are not discriminated against by the fact that same gender domestic partners--who generally do not have marriage as an option--may secure health insurance for each other.

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