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Thread: TS's family = targets of discrimination

  1. #1
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    TS's family = targets of discrimination

    I am so angry right now that I am shaking.

    My employer just informed me that they will be denying my application to add my son to my insurance because I cannot legally adopt him and I cannot legally marry my wife. Nevermind the fact that I am already granted legal guardianship by the state of OH.

    This is going to bankrupt us.

    We have no other alternatives.

    MW is a disabled vet and the VA doesn't cover dependents.

    This is why discrimination IS NOT OKAY

    Moderator note:
    Maister: Split from RTDNTOTO7. This is a serious topic worthy of its own thread
    Last edited by Maister; 01 Nov 2012 at 4:35 PM.
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  2. #2
    Cyburbian Mud Princess's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    ...This is why discrimination IS NOT OKAY
    That just plain sucks. I don't blame you for being upset.

    I wish I had some practical advice to offer.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    ts - there has got to be away around that. Talk to an attorney, but you should be able to legally adopt any child and then be permitted to put them on your insurance. Although I don't know the ramifications for MW and 'custody' issues.
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  4. #4
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Planit View post
    ts - there has got to be away around that. Talk to an attorney, but you should be able to legally adopt any child and then be permitted to put them on your insurance. Although I don't know the ramifications for MW and 'custody' issues.
    I cannot legally adopt my son in OH without MW giving up her parental rights. We already have an attorney. We just went through the process of filing for custodianship with the state for this very reason and I was granted the full parental rights that any other non-married parent would have. Apparently that isn't good enough for my employer. The language in our insurance program seems to be designed intentionally to discriminate against gay people.

    So begins the saga of law suits.


    Edit: To all those out there who think it is okay to put people like me in this position, guess what! We aren't going to stop being gay. We aren't going to stop having families. We aren't going to sit by and let you attempt to mold the world into your narrow view of how things "should be". This is the kind of thing that gives society our greatest leaders. This is how revolutions are born. So keep pushing your agenda, because you just give more solidarity to the human rights movement. Every attempt to make our lives harder just makes us fight harder and fuels the fire for us to push for more and more rights.
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  5. #5
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    I am so angry right now that I am shaking.

    My employer just informed me that they will be denying my application to add my son to my insurance because I cannot legally adopt him and I cannot legally marry my wife. Nevermind the fact that I am already granted legal guardianship by the state of OH.

    This is going to bankrupt us.

    We have no other alternatives.

    MW is a disabled vet and the VA doesn't cover dependents.

    This is why discrimination IS NOT OKAY


    You have my permission to punch someone in the face.
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  6. #6
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    I am so angry right now that I am shaking.

    My employer just informed me that they will be denying my application to add my son to my insurance because I cannot legally adopt him and I cannot legally marry my wife. Nevermind the fact that I am already granted legal guardianship by the state of OH.

    This is going to bankrupt us.

    We have no other alternatives.

    MW is a disabled vet and the VA doesn't cover dependents.

    This is why discrimination IS NOT OKAY
    The State of Ohio made a HUGE mistake in 2004.... I pray that it will be fixed in the coming years to bring equality.... that sucks bad TS...
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  7. #7
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post


    You have my permission to punch someone in the face.
    I second this motion.

    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    Edit: To all those out there who think it is okay to put people like me in this position, guess what! We aren't going to stop being gay. We aren't going to stop having families. We aren't going to sit by and let you attempt to mold the world into your narrow view of how things "should be". This is the kind of thing that gives society our greatest leaders. This is how revolutions are born. So keep pushing your agenda, because you just give more solidarity to the human rights movement. Every attempt to make our lives harder just makes us fight harder and fuels the fire for us to push for more and more rights.
    This is so very well written, and I cannot think of any other person to put these thoughts into words so effectively. Fight on TS & MW...it will not be easy, but it's a fight worth having!
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  8. #8
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    I am so angry right now that I am shaking.

    My employer just informed me that they will be denying my application to add my son to my insurance because I cannot legally adopt him and I cannot legally marry my wife. Nevermind the fact that I am already granted legal guardianship by the state of OH.

    This is going to bankrupt us.

    We have no other alternatives.

    MW is a disabled vet and the VA doesn't cover dependents.

    This is why discrimination IS NOT OKAY
    Yes, that is discrimination and I too think it is wrong. I pray that you find a good lawyer who will not just beat them, but crush the insurance company.
    Not my monkey, not my circus. - Old Polish Proverb

  9. #9
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Yes, that is discrimination and I took think it is wrong. I pray that you find a good lawyer who will not just beat them, but crush the insurance company.
    agreed!
    Last edited by luckless pedestrian; 01 Nov 2012 at 3:38 PM.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post

    You have my permission to punch someone in the face.
    Quote Originally posted by NHPlanner View post
    I second this motion.
    The motion has been made, been seconded, no other dicsussion ? non heard, so be it the motion carries.
    close enough to Robert's Rules I think.


    TS - that just S^CKS !
    any experts on identifying politically narrow minded people out there - is it possible the state/insurance company/somebody to have their head up their a$$ at the same time as buried in the sand ?
    Last edited by JNA; 01 Nov 2012 at 4:01 PM.
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  11. #11
    Cyburbian ofos's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by michaelskis View post
    Yes, that is discrimination and I too think it is wrong. I pray that you find a good lawyer who will not just beat them, but crush the insurance company.
    Need a clarification here, I thought it was employer policy. Do we know what the insurance company's position is on this? Not that I mind insurance companies being crushed, but if it's the employer, TS has multiple problems.
    “Death comes when memories of the past exceed the vision for the future.”

  12. #12
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    Fight the power TS!

    It seems ridiculous to have this hoop when a loving family is doing the right thing.
    And that concludes staff’s presentation...

  13. #13
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by ofos View post
    Need a clarification here, I thought it was employer policy. Do we know what the insurance company's position is on this? Not that I mind insurance companies being crushed, but if it's the employer, TS has multiple problems.
    It is a county-wide employee owned insurance program. The county wrote the guidelines and enforces them.
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  14. #14
    Cyburbian terraplnr's avatar
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    I am so sorry TS, that is so completely and totally wrong!!!!!

    Some employers will “pay” you if you opt out of their health insurance completely. Is this an option? Then maybe find a policy for you and your son through a private insurer? But that may not be any cheaper in the end, just a thought.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by btrage View post


    You have my permission to punch someone in the face.
    .

    Agreed. I've never supported the intolerance that goes on all around me, but it should have always been obvious to me that "not supporting" intolerance and stupidity is not enough. I'm sorry for your predicament TS. You tried to do what you considered the best thing for your growing family and are being punished for it. That is beyond wrong. I wish I had something to offer...
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  16. #16
    Cyburbian otterpop's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    It is a county-wide employee owned insurance program. The county wrote the guidelines and enforces them.
    Does your county have a benefits committee? Our county has one, made up of members from the different departments. If such a committee exists, this is something that should be addressed by them, so they can make reccomendations to the governing body.

    And, yes, what they are doing totally sucks and needs to be corrected. As the definition of "family" expands, so must the way the public and private sector regards what is "family." Babies are entitled to medical insurance regardless of whether they have one mommy, two mommies, two dads or one dad.

    Makes me wonder what my county would do in this situation. Think I will look it up.
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  17. #17
    Cyburbian Bubba's avatar
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    That's really lousy, TS...I hope y'all can get this worked out in your favor.
    I found you a new motto from a sign hanging on their wall…"Drink coffee: do stupid things faster and with more energy"

  18. #18
    Cyburbian Plus Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    Would they apply this same illogic to an employee who had legal guardianship of a grandchild?

    What rights does legal guardianship give you in your state? I see so many instances here in FL where a legal guardian can do the same things as a natural or adoptive parent: enroll a child in school, direct medical care, etc. If you could put your son on your car insurance when he's a teenager (assuming you could), you should be able to add him to your health insurance.

    I cannot imagine your frustration. This does suck.

  19. #19
    I agree this sucks and hope you fight them tooth and nail. I'd call the state ACLU and see if they can't give your attorney some instruction/suggestions/support. Good luck!
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  20. #20
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Zoning Goddess View post
    Would they apply this same illogic to an employee who had legal guardianship of a grandchild?

    What rights does legal guardianship give you in your state? I see so many instances here in FL where a legal guardian can do the same things as a natural or adoptive parent: enroll a child in school, direct medical care, etc. If you could put your son on your car insurance when he's a teenager (assuming you could), you should be able to add him to your health insurance.

    I cannot imagine your frustration. This does suck.
    I have the same rights as a biological parent. The problem is that our insurance program uses language that seems to intentionally discriminate against same sex families. It defines a child who is eligible as one who is biologically related, legally adopted, a stepchild (through a legal marriage), OR a child under legal guardianship (which should give me the ability to add him) except 1) when the child's biological parent resides at the same location as the legal guardian or 2) a child who is not financially dependent 100% on the guardian . So if MW didn't live with us, I could add him, but only if she pays for nothing in his life.

    It is probably going to cost more to sue the county than it would to pay for insurance, but I want to sue anyway. I wonder if I can afford it.... probably not. I am definitely going to call every organization in the country available to find help though.
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  21. #21
    Gunfighter Mastiff's avatar
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    The bad news is that you're in this in the first place, but the good news may well be that Ohio is not the arbiter of this matter according to this:

    http://employment.findlaw.com/wages-...forcement.html

    Seems the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) governs how private employers and pension or insurance companies must administer employee benefit plans, including employee healthcare plans. From the site:

    ERISA governs benefits such as pension plans, health and disability insurance, death benefits, severance plans, plans providing pre-paid legal services, scholarship funds, apprenticeship and training programs, and employer-operated day care centers. ERISA does not cover plans that are required and administered by state laws, such as workers' compensation or unemployment compensation.

    Remember that the law does not require an employer to provide its employees with any particular benefits, such as healthcare plans. However, ERISA mandates that once an employer decides to offer such a plan, it must be run in accordance with certain standards designed to protect the interests of employees and other plan beneficiaries (such as family members).
    Last edited by Mastiff; 01 Nov 2012 at 4:47 PM.
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  22. #22
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    I'm really sorry and angry to hear this TS. I don't know what else to say other than to second or third btrage's motion.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Play politics

    Quote Originally posted by TerraSapient View post
    I have the same rights as a biological parent. The problem is that our insurance program uses language that seems to intentionally discriminate against same sex families. It defines a child who is eligible as one who is biologically related, legally adopted, a stepchild (through a legal marriage), OR a child under legal guardianship (which should give me the ability to add him) except 1) when the child's biological parent resides at the same location as the legal guardian or 2) a child who is not financially dependent 100% on the guardian . So if MW didn't live with us, I could add him, but only if she pays for nothing in his life.

    It is probably going to cost more to sue the county than it would to pay for insurance, but I want to sue anyway. I wonder if I can afford it.... probably not. I am definitely going to call every organization in the country available to find help though.
    My thoughts: talk to your state senator and rep, county commissioners, city councilfolk. There's someone running for re-election who would love to take this on to get their names in the paper. Conversely, there are incumbents not on the ballot who would love to step in and speak to this issue. Depends on your local politics.

    You shouldn't have to sue. Guessing there's a rainbow attorney who would love to take this on, perhaps as a class action suit.

    Just north of the border, dependent children can obtain coverage via a state program. I don't have all the facts, so you might verify that a family of your characteristics would be covered. And then play that card to the hilt. "Gee, Michigan would provide us coverage. Sure would be nice if we didn't have to move to the Wolverine state."

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Plus dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    I'm really sorry and angry to hear this TS. I don't know what else to say other than to second or third btrage's motion.
    Same here.
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

  25. #25
    Cyburbian TerraSapient's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Veloise View post
    My thoughts: talk to your state senator and rep, county commissioners, city councilfolk. There's someone running for re-election who would love to take this on to get their names in the paper. Conversely, there are incumbents not on the ballot who would love to step in and speak to this issue. Depends on your local politics.

    You shouldn't have to sue. Guessing there's a rainbow attorney who would love to take this on, perhaps as a class action suit.

    Just north of the border, dependent children can obtain coverage via a state program. I don't have all the facts, so you might verify that a family of your characteristics would be covered. And then play that card to the hilt. "Gee, Michigan would provide us coverage. Sure would be nice if we didn't have to move to the Wolverine state."
    That is a good idea. Unfortunately, though I live in a traditionally very blue county which has granted domestic partnership rights to us and has a county policy of tolerance, I work in a county that is very red and very ... um... how to say this... let's just say they all have Romney signs in their yards, so pleading with my local politicians may prove fruitless. I will still try though!
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