Institutionalized Bigotry

« Here’s why it’s a matter of civil rights »:

‘Prudential Financial has been accused of discrimination after refusing to provide benefits to the legally married spouse of lesbian retiree. After her marriage in Canada, Laurel Awishus, a retired Prudential Financial employee who worked for the company for 20 years, sought to enroll her spouse of nearly 22 years, Kathy Adelsheim, in the medical benefits program offered to the company’s retirees and spouses. Prudential Financial, headquartered in Newark, New Jersey, offers benefits to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees, but says that it only offers those benefits in retirement if the employee retired after January 1, 2000 when it implemented the program. Straight spouses are entitled to benefits regardless of their retirement date. “We are a married couple and should be treated as such. I worked for Prudential for 20 years and have a lot of respect for them, but I can’t respect they way they are treating us right now,” Awishus said. “One of the reasons I’m in this precarious spot is that 19 years ago I moved with Laurel to New Jersey when the company transferred her. I left a promising career behind—that included benefits. I wasn’t treated like a spouse then because we weren’t married. Now we’re married, and that should be respected,” she said.’

Do NOT tell me it doesn’t matter or it’s not about civil rights. Stuff that.

Last week, I received a snarky notice from the Michigan Teachers Retirement system which said that Frank was a ‘non-eligible’ beneficiary and any retirement benefits due would be paid to someone else upon my death. We face discrimination like this every single day, thanks to organized religion-induced fear and loathing in Amurrica. It’s a daily slog through a mine-field of finding ways around institutionalized bigotry in order to protect my family and it’s past time for it to stop.