Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Court-Ordered Same Sex Benefits May Cost Alaska $1.2 Million Per Year

According to a story published in the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, the Alaska State Division of Retirement and Benefits estimates that shelling out benefits to the domestic partners of gay state employees may cost the state anywhere between $464,000 to as much as $1.2 million in fiscal year 2007 and even more in years to come. The precise cost of offering the benefits won’t be known until applications are reviewed, but preliminary estimates assume an increase in overall enrollment of between 0.5 and 1.5 percent. Graphic above left courtesy of National Vanguard.

Last week, the Alaska Supreme Court upheld earlier rulings forcing the state to provide health, insurance, and retirement benefits to qualified same-sex partners of state employees by Jan. 1, 2007. The court originally ruled in 2005 that not offering them violated the equal protection clause of the state’s constitution. The court maintains that since the 1998 state constitutional amendment formally defining marriage as between a man and a woman and approved by 68% of the voters did not address the topic of employment benefits at all, that it was not the intent of the amendment to deny the benefits. In their written decision, the court explained “Nor have we been referred to any legislative history implying that, despite its clear words, the Marriage Amendment should be interpreted to deny employment benefits to public employees with same-sex domestic partners”.

Click HERE to see the full text of the Alaska Supreme Court's 30-page original decision from October 2005 in PDF format.

Click HERE to go to the Alaska State Division of Retirement and Benefits website to view all the other legal documentation associated with this decision.

Despite the fact that she personally opposes the ruling, Alaska Governor Sarah Palin intends to comply. Governor Palin said the state was on track to begin providing the benefits by January 1st. So far, she has chosen not to act on another bill passed last month by the Legislature prohibiting the commissioner of administration from implementing future regulations relating to the benefits. Palin has until Saturday (December 30th) to act on that bill.

However, Governor Palin intends to put the issue before the people on the 2008 ballot in the form of a constitutional amendment that would “prohibit the state, or a municipality or other subdivision of the state” from providing the benefits. It is not known whether Palin's intent would be to make it retroactive, blocking cities, boroughs, and other entities that already offer the benefits from continuing to offer them. The Municipality of Anchorage and the Anchorage School District already offer such benefits to their respective employees. She needs to get agreement from two-thirds of the House and Senate to get such an amendment.

House Majority Leader John Coghill, a Republican from North Pole who has actively opposed the benefits, said last week that lawmakers would be more likely to support a more “permissive” change to the constitution. However, Rep. David Guttenberg, a Democrat from Fairbanks who supports providing the benefits, said he didn’t think there was enough support in either body to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.

In explaining her opposition to the benefits, Palin used an argument Gov. Frank Murkowski and state lawmakers have also used — that Alaskans meant to block the benefits when they voted in 1998 to define marriage in the Alaska Constitution as between a man and a woman. “I disagree with the recent court decision,” Palin said in her statement, “because I feel as though Alaskans spoke on this issue with its overwhelming support for a Constitutional Amendment in 1998 which defined marriage as between a man and woman.”

Analysis: Governor Palin is handling this well. By complying with the court order, she's preventing her administration from starting off with a possible constitutional crisis. But by working to subsequently put the issue before the people, she will empower and energize social conservatives and other pro-family groups.

While the court decided to take the permissive view that "whatsoever is not specifically forbidden is implicitly permitted", it appears they are also using this "benefits" issue to backdoor their way around the freely-expressed will of the people in 1998 and to weaken, if not eliminate the 1998 amendment altogether.

And $1.2 million per year to subsidize a perversion? Just think what else we could do with that money:

1). $1.2 million would permit Denali KidCare to expand child care services to low-income parents and particularly to single parents. But I guess subsidizing yuppie homosexual couples is more important than child care.

2). $1.2 million would permit the Municipality of Anchorage to begin linking Dowling Road to C Street. But I guess subsidizing yuppie homosexual couples is more important than traffic safety.

3). $1.2 million would permit the village of Shishmaref to add to their seawall to protect their community against flooding triggered by beach erosion. But I guess subsidizing yuppie homosexual couples is more important than protecting an entire village against flooding.

And it's not as if these yuppie homosexual couples actually need the benefits. Since most homosexual couples don't have kids, their expenses are FAR LESS than those working families with kids, where in most cases BOTH parents must work outside the home to pay for the basics and keep their kids clothed and fed. Childless homosexual couples generally have the resources to routinely engage in the discretionary activities that working heterosexual couples can only dream of. Yet this doesn't matter to gays - they want their "unions" validated, celebrated, and subsidized. How incredibly selfish of them.

Of course, had we stood up to black civil rights parasites like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Rev. Dr. William Green when they were working the courts and the media to get special entitlements for their constituencies, the homosexual civil rights parasites would never have stepped up to the plate. So we, the self-indulgent baby boomer generation, must take our share of the blame.

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