From the Marshfield News-Herald 12/9/2005
Gay rights advocates say the courts could declare that it's illegal for businesses to grant insurance benefits to the partners of unmarried employees, whether they're the opposite sex or the same sex, for instance, because that's a status that's substantially similar to that of married workers.
And they say resolution sponsors such as three-time divorced state Sen. Dave Zien, R-Eau Claire, are hypocrites. If Zien wanted to defend marriage, he should've started with his -- No.1, No. 2 or No. 3.
Gannett Co. Inc., corporate owner of the Marshfield News-Herald and nine other newspapers in Wisconsin, is among those companies that offer health insurance to cover people in committed relationships with its employees. It does this because if our employees have to worry about whether they'll be able to take care of people they're building their lives around, they're not as effective at their jobs. And the company believes it's the right thing to do.
Imagine what it'd be like if you were married under Wisconsin's current law and you couldn't get health insurance for your husband or wife or your children, because a new constitutional amendment forbade it.
It's that extra little bit of verbiage, beyond the "one man and one woman" part, that makes the defense of marriage bill difficult to defend. If some companies want to give their workers' partners benefits, why let the state government interfere? Or if two people who are devoted to each other want to grant the legal right to make health care or end-of-life decisions for each other, why is that state government's concern?
The political party that says it wants to limit government intrusions into people's private lives is intruding into people's private lives. And it's apparently telling businesses how they can treat their employees, besides.
You'll hear a lot more about the defense of marriage amendment in the next year.
Be skeptical of those who say that they know what's good for marriage, but don't seem to be able to hold one together themselves. They're not reliable advisers.