Did you know that the federal government taxes the value of health-care benefits one receives for same-sex spouses, but not those of people in heterosexual marriages? Sort of blatantly unfair, wouldn’t you say?
But never fear! Some companies, like Google for example, understand how discriminatory this tax is and give employees in same-sex relationships an annual stipend to cover the cost difference.
Even better news? In a move said to be unprecedented in the U.S., Cambridge, Massachusetts just approved a stipend for city workers in same-sex relationships that will cost the city only $33,000 a year once fully implemented.
City Councilor E. Denise Simmons, who was mayor of Cambridge from 2008-09 and is openly gay, co-sponsored an order asking City Manager Robert Healy to propose a plan to put the burden of the tax (which amounts to $1,500-3,000 a year for Cambridge city employees) on the city, and not its workers.
“Having marriage equality yet an unequal tax burden keeps (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) married couples on the margins, and marginalization in a lot of ways is seen as a level of discrimination,’’ said Simmons.