Thursday, September 17, 2009

Gay couples who lose jobs face extra sting from COBRA exclusion

09/14/09 The Orlando Sentinel(AARP Bulletin Today):
The [COBRA] exclusion of same-sex partners also applies to couples in states where gay marriage or civil unions are legal. Under the Defense of Marriage Act, passed in 1996, the federal government does not recognize same-sex unions, which eliminates gay couples from COBRA. COBRA also excludes unmarried heterosexual couples, but the provision has a greater effect on gays because they don't have the option of getting married [and having their marriages qualify under COBRA]. "It highlights that when times are bad, it affects people who have fewer legal protections more harshly," said Chris Edelson, state legislative director for the Human Rights Campaign, a Washington-based gay-rights organization.

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