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BOEING Refuses To Give Benefits to Gay Married Couples in Washington State – Homophobia or Greed?

The BOEING Corporation has issued a statement to its employees late yesterday saying the company “is taking a closer look at how the passage os same-sex marriage (R-74) might impact company policies once it takes effect in December and has told union negotiators that it will deny pension survivor benefits to same-sex married couples despite passage of a marriage equality law there

The Stranger reports:

Ray Goforth [executive director of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace (SPEEA), IFPTE Local 2001] explains that his union has long sought equal pension benefits for same-sex domestic partners, to no avail. But since voters approved same-sex marriage—establishing parity with married straight couples—Goforth re-framed the proposal to apply to his union’s gay Boeing employees who wed. “Their answer was that they had no intention of granting pension survivor benefits to legally married same-sex couples because they didn’t have to,” Goforth explains. Boeing representatives told him that pensions are governed by federal law, which doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage, thereby trumping the state law on the matter.

“We were profoundly disappointed to see that they would use a loophole to engage in institutionalized discrimination,” Goforth says.

Despite BOEING’s statement “to take a closer look” Goforth insists that the company was “unequivocal” in its statement to union negotiators that it intends to withhold the benefits.

BOEING posted 2011 net income of $4.02 billion, up 21.5% over a net profit of $3.31 billion in 2010 so the refusal is either a result of internal corporate homophobia or just plain GREED.

Unfortunately though this is just another in a long line of problems when it come to the state by state same-sex marriage plan.

While we pat ourselves on the back at each states victory we are still separate and not equal..

Many of the benefits issuing from the status of marriage are FEDERAL benefits, or are reflected in Federal law (i.e. taxes) and until DOMA falls this will always be the case.



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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