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

Answers:

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.


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.