While much of the nation's attention has been focused on the establishment of "civil unions" in Vermont, a similar change has been taking place in the private sector with "domestic partnerships." In fact, the attempt to legitimize homosexual marriage may be taking place faster in the private sector than in the public sector. Even so, some recent position papers by the Family Research Council point out problems with domestic partnerships.
First, companies send a clear signal that marriage is no longer a priority worth encouraging above other relationships. Often, consumers end up subsidizing unmarried sexual relationships due to increased costs for oversight, insurance, etc.
Second, companies also essentially establish the legitimacy of "gay marriage." Providing sex-partner subsidies, they create within the corporation another form of marriage with all its economic benefits. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's a duck.
Third, many companies are beginning to understand the costs and consequences of providing domestic partnerships. The newly merged ExxonMobil company decided it did not want to be in the business of validating relationships and announced it would no longer grant domestic partnership benefits to homosexuals. Perot Systems in 1998 rescinded its same-sex subsidies because of "the high costs of adding extra people to its insurance and pension rolls."
Homosexual activists argue that providing domestic partnership benefits is the wave of the future and any company that does not is "out of the mainstream." A recent survey of Fortune 500 companies found that 80 claim to provide such benefits. That would mean that 420 companies do not provide such benefits. Mainstream would be the more than 400 companies that do not provide domestic partnership benefits.
But the activists are right in that there has been a trend in the private sector toward providing such benefits. Time will tell if the trend continues.
I'm Kerby Anderson of Probe Ministries, and that's my opinion.