Three New Mexican lesbian couples have joined forces with the American Civil Liberties Union to combat the state’s discriminatory retirement practices. It seems that straight couples can continue to extend benefits to their partners after leaving state jobs. Gays and lesbians? Not so much.
New Mexican Governor and potential Presidential candidate Bill Richardson granted same-sex state workers domestic partner benefits back in 2003. While couples can enjoy state provided healthcare, they lose these rewards once the working partner retires. Straight married couples, meanwhile, can use their benefits until the day the die. Naturally this doesn’t sit well with ACLU New Mexico’s director, Peter Simonson. In the organization’s statement on the matter, he said:
Health insurance is an important portion of how employees are compensated. It’s not right for the state to take care of straight families, but to force gay and lesbian families to bear the significant expense and suffer the inferior coverage of private health insurance at the point in their lives when they need health care most.
The group’s filed a claim against the state, but says they can save millions of dollars be enacting new laws, rather than fighting the lawsuit.
Not to mention all the energy they’ll save: have you ever tried to fight a geriatric lesbian? They may look frail, but those bitches can fight!