The mind of many so-called protectors of our nation’s morality believes that there are two kinds of relationships between adults: the spouse and the joy toy. And for most of these, gay and lesbian partners fall exclusively into the latter category. Witness the folly of the Palm Beach Community College trustees:
After rejecting a proposal earlier this year to provide health benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of its employees Palm Beach Community College has decided to offer workers insurance for their pets.
Anyone who works for the college would be able to enroll in the pet insurance plan, through Veterinary Pet Insurance. It would cost employees between $22 and $28 per month for dogs and $15 to $18 per month for cats.
The plan will come into effect on January 8.
LGBT civil rights group the Palm Beach County Human Rights Council called the decision an outrage coming just months after the college’s Board of Trustees deadlocked on domestic partner benefits.
No suprise there!
I consider myself a moral, heterosexual person. Some years ago, after having witnessed unprotected gay and lesbian persons exploited because there was no legal recourse left to them when their partners screwed them over, I decided that I supported same sex marriage. Over the years, I have witnessed the perpetrators of our twisted system time and again refuse to give their support to relationships which are in effect moral by reason of their monogamousness. It is easiest in a monogamous relationship for the rights of all persons to be respected. For this reason, I endorse it for persons of all sexualities. But there’s a decided undertow when it comes to supporting gay and lesbian monogamous relationships. Aside from the security of living with the same person, you don’t get many of the benefits which married people get: shared health insurance, shared adoption, a partner who has a say in your health care, etc. It can appear, to the accounting-minded individual, to be little better than going it alone.
The costs of promiscuity in any population are the same: spread of disease, individuals who don’t feel that they have equal standing in a relationship, lack of legal remedies when there are conflicts over property, etc. Men and women who choose to live with a person of the same sex in the absence of marriage or domestic partnership laws do a lot for nearly nothing — except deep and fulfilling love.
I shall note that we have two cats and we value them as members of our family. I feel it is cruel to deny domestic partnership benefits to employees in any case, cruel in the extreme to deny them when these pet benefits are offered. Republic of T asked “Your pet is a member of your family, but your partner is not?” Apparently so in Florida.
But then joy toys are supposed to come with no strings. Ask any closet gay conservative.
I grant those trustees who opposed domestic partner benefits while voting for pet insurance my uncoveted Nipper Kettle Award for fifteen minutes of petty fame.
The administrators who work at the college — who support coverage for both pets and people — had the leeway to pursue the pet insurance on their own, but had to get — and couldn’t get — Board approval for the same-sex partner benefits. Whether the administrators there are crafty political operatives forcing the Board’s hand, or if these decisions were made entirely separately and only juxtaposed after the fact, I don’t know. (I could believe either.) But I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Board there cave in the face of otherwise having to explain why cats are more important than people. (I recall a similar juxtaposition when Viagra first came out, and some HMO’s that didn’t cover birth control pills said they would cover Viagra. Some of them changed their policy on birth control coverage once Viagra was on the scene, mostly out of a combination of embarrassment and public pressure.)
Let’s hope the ploy works.
In other Palm Beach news, Ann Coulter has successfully petitioned to have her address removed from county property records:
Coulter contacted police in March to report that a vulgar greeting card was left in her mailbox and, on another occasion, she heard someone screaming “Ann Coulter is a big asshole” from a vacant lot near her house. The pink and white card, which had “Go fuck yourself” printed on its face, included several denigrating handwritten statements, including, “The only things left after a nuclear war are you and cockroaches”
I despise Coulter as much as the next intellectual, but I think the home is sacred. Everyone should have a place to hole up. Maybe its presence will encourage her to stay in it and not bother the rest of us. (Still, wouldn’t it be justice to see her get an extreme right wing stalker who just feels that they are just made for each other? Forget I said that.)