Google to Add Pay Gay Employee’s Extra to Cover Unfair Federal Health Benefit Tax

Starting today, Thursday, Google is going to begin covering a cost the extra cost that gay and lesbian employees must pay when their partners receive domestic partner health benefits, largely to compensate them for an extra tax that heterosexual married couples do not pay tkanks to the unjust Federal Law “The Defense Of Marriage Act,

Under DOMA, employer-provided health benefits for domestic partners are counted as taxable income, if the partner is not considered a dependent. The tax owed is based on the value of the partner’s coverage paid by the employer.

On average, employees with domestic partners will pay about $1,069 more a year in taxes than a married employee with the same coverage, according to a 2007 report by M. V. Lee Badgett, director of the Williams Institute, a research group that studies sexual orientation policy issues.

The extra compensation to cover the domestic partner tax will apply only to same-sex domestic partners, Mr. Bock said, because heterosexual couples can avoid the added tax by marrying. (Same-sex couples can make their unions official in several states, but their relationship will not be federally recognized.)

The additional pay will also cover the dependents of the employee’s domestic partner. The changes will be retroactive to Jan. 1, and will apply only to workers in the United States.

Congress has tried to address the fact that same-sex couples pay more for domestic partner health coverage. The health care overhaul legislation passed by the House last November included language that would have eliminated the tax on employer-provided coverage. But the provision did not make it into the final legislation signed by President Obama in March.  And Obama did not fight for it to be included.

Nice work, Google! 

Maybe we should vote for “GOOGLE For President”?

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Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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