Saturday, September 06, 2008

Colombia: Hetero marriage slippery slope; What's next! Gay triads with benefits?

Interesting court decision in Colombia: Thursday's El Espectador reports that a male member of the armed forces won a suit to have his female partner of 15 years be included in his health benefits plan - as well as their two children - without having married her.

Nothing big there, hetero couples in long-term common-law partnerships have had access to these type of benefits in the past.

What is striking about the ruling is that the man is also married to a second woman he never divorced who has always been covered under his health benefit plans ("Spouse and partner will be beneficiaries in health simultaneously").

The suit, brought upon the Council of the State after the Army's Health Director's Office denied an initial request, argued that the State should not deny these rights to a woman who had spent so many years next to her partner and that her health would be compromised if denied.

The Council agreed and said that she could be covered unless she was already covered by her own plan and that the man's wife could also be covered as long as she also was not affiliated to another plan or had sought or gotten a divorce.

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