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Cambridge, Mass. to pay gay married employees more than straight employees

Cambridge, Mass. — The City of Cambridge, Mass., will be adding thousands extra to the yearly paychecks of gay and lesbian employees who are married to their same-sex spouses.

The money is meant to off-set what the City Council calls an "unfair" imbalance in the way the federal government taxes health care benefits for same-sex couples.

Cambridge will add a total of $1,500 to $3,000 to the 22 workers' annual salaries.

"This is about equality," Cambridge City Councilor Marjorie Decker told the Associated Press. "This is a city that models what equality really means."

Supporters said the $33,000 estimated total cost is a drop in the city's $500 million annual budget, but opponents were appalled.

"It's a travesty of using taxpayer monies to circumvent a national policy," said Kris Mineau, president of the Massachusetts Family Institute.
 
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Im in a committed same sex relationship. Texas does not allow us to become married. I agree with Massachusetts decision since living in the 4th most populous city third most populous county 2nd most populous state I know life is more expensive now & giving a married couple a tax break is noble thing to do straight or gay. Since the fed government refuses to recognize we have the same right to commit & have it recognized as straight couples.
Posted by snoork on Sun, 7/10/2011 4:06 PM
It is so unfortunate that the Federal Government is so out-of-step with basic civil rights. Unfortunately, Christian Fundamentalists (along with the fellow Islam Fundamentalists) ignore civil rights issues, and prevent Federal law from leveling the playing field for LGBT taxpayers.

Having set the stage for economic disaster during the Bush years, I suppose the Republicans feel that setting the stage for social disaster is their next step. The old saying, "Three's a charm", has me wondering what they are planning next. Armageddon, anyone?
Posted by Richardhg on Sun, 7/10/2011 4:09 PM
This is great. But to be truly fair, to make this unapproachable, they need to make sure that all employee's benefits are equal on this matter. There may be heterosexual married employees that the federal tax law does not give a benefit and adjust their pay as well.
Posted by Michael256 on Sun, 7/10/2011 5:14 PM
Done, the end of American life draws nearer and nearer. Karma will consume it in a raging social inferno.
Posted by Barry on Sun, 7/10/2011 5:22 PM
All you damn homos should drop dead!!! Why do you deserve more money than the next person? Because you're in some sort of perverted relationship? Give me a break!!!
Posted by eddie jones on Sun, 7/10/2011 5:36 PM
This no better than paying a man more money than a women, like people use to do it's just wrong.
Posted by Jim on Sun, 7/10/2011 5:44 PM
Praise God...
Posted by Judy Prebell on Sun, 7/10/2011 5:47 PM
Type your comment here... that's equality?
Posted by wondering on Sun, 7/10/2011 5:53 PM
If this was really about equality, marriage would have NOTHING to do with a person's wages... neither hetero nor same-sex... But gays don't want equality, they want to share in a privilege they see others exercising, and who can blame them... I'm single, and I want the privilege too. Since granting us all the privilege is a far more expensive way of treating everyone equally, compared to eliminating such privilege, we could save a load of money eliminating all legal privileges associated with marriage. As a bonus, politicians would no longer be able to talk to us like children about the issue.
Posted by UncleSim on Sun, 7/10/2011 6:04 PM
This article proves that the world is turning toward satan
Posted by vageorge on Sun, 7/10/2011 6:05 PM
a most simple solution make gay marriage legal in the whole country
on the other hand some people think the world is flat
Posted by elljay7 on Sun, 7/10/2011 6:13 PM
Regretfully, there is much disparity in the work place regarding benefits. Single people have been short changed when "married" employees have received family benefits. No company I know of offers a cash differential to single employees, or in circumstances where the spouse is also covered through another employer. The action of City of Cambridge is noble, but the taxpayers of the city should not be burdened with what the federal government has not yet acknowledged.
Posted by CPJay on Sun, 7/10/2011 7:40 PM
Regretfully, there is much disparity in the work place regarding benefits. Single people have been short changed when "married" employees have received family benefits. No company I know of offers a cash differential to single employees, or in circumstances where the spouse is also covered through another employer. The action of City of Cambridge is noble, but the taxpayers of the city should not be burdened with what the federal government has not yet acknowledged.
Posted by Jay Shaff on Sun, 7/10/2011 7:44 PM
This is insane... how to get a "minority" even more isolated? Give them a big raise while the rest of the people they work with get a slap in the face... I'm not saying anything bad about married gay or straight. This is just an example of preferential treatment and it is wrong. I know if it were the other way around the gay community would be having a hissy fit. Justifiably ofcours
Posted by Zeke926 on Sun, 7/10/2011 9:32 PM
a level playing field is good for EVERYONE gay or straight, there shouldn't be any labels involved, if youre married you should receive all the same benefits as any other married couple...
Posted by Xailian on Sun, 7/10/2011 10:49 PM
How about reporting the *whole* story?

The reason this is happening is because an unmarried same-sex partner who is enrolled in an employee's health insurance must pay additional taxes, because their benefits are considered taxable income. Is THAT fair? Hell no it isn't. So the city is Doing The Right Thing here by offsetting that tax. Gay and straight employees at the same level will wind up getting equal pay in the end.

This is of course merely a stop-gap measure, since essentially it means that Person A has to pay more taxes because Person B is paying more taxes. What would really be fair is to change the stupid law so that employment benefits are no longer taxable income for unmarried and/or GLBT partners of employees. And perhaps, i dunno, legalize same-sex marriage across the board (including federally) so this isn't even a discrimination issue at all.
Posted by transmothra on Sun, 7/10/2011 11:44 PM
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