I just started a new job about two months ago. After I heard about what kind of benefits I would be receiving, I was excited to get my wife on the policy as well. It has been a long time since we have both had insurance, so it was something we talked about…a lot. We were planning things months in advance. You would think we were planning a special occasion. It was a special occasion to us!
The day finally came to apply for Insurance benefits. I sat down, started to fill out the information with the advisor. “And who else will you be adding to the policy today?” This was it, the big question. “My wife, Kristen.” In order to visualize the proper response, you need to think of the last time you saw someone run straight into a pole. Do you remember the face you made? Kind of took in a breath of air while saying “ooh”? This is the same reaction I was given. “Ooh, I’m sorry, we don’t cover domestic partners here.”
Excuse me? You don’t cover domestic partners? Could you imagine if I were straight and I received the same treatment? “And who else will you be adding to the policy today?” “My husband, Chris.” “Ooh, I’m sorry, we don’t cover husbands here.”
That would NEVER happen!
I had fooled myself into believing that we have come much further in this movement than we actually have. Wikipedia says “In some jurisdictions, such as Australia, New Zealand, the American states of Oregon, Washington, Nevada, and California, a domestic partnership is almost equivalent to marriage, or to other legally recognized same-sex or different-sex unions.” But, apparently, that is not the case. I am only able to share my benefits with my wife if my employer decides they want to cover domestic partners too.
I used to wonder why we were so strongly fighting for the word “Marriage” when we had the same rights already. How uneducated I was! We don’t have the same rights. But, we are told we do. Not until we actually try to exercise our same rights do we realize that we don’t come close. I don’t care if we continue to call our unions “domestic partnerships” as long as we have the same rights.
Basic Rights of Oregon is deciding on whether or not equal marriage should be on the ballet in 2012. I would like it to be. I, now more than ever, understand the importance of this right. I want to have the same right that every loving (or non-loving) couple has.
You gotta fight…for your right…to maaaaaaarrry!!!