Letter to the Editor: The stark realities of Amendment 3 exist at the U

Editor:

I read The Chrony letters to the editor stating Amendment 3 wouldn’t harm the families of Utah. Let me show you exactly how it does harm us here at the U.

It’s open enrollment at the U and I am constantly reminded that as a partner and stepmother in a same-sex couple, I am worth nothing to my employer.

The U pays a portion of my medical premiums. I am only required to pay $44.82 per month for some great benefits.

However, if I want to add my partner, I pay $353.60 per month, and add my stepdaughter, $618.54 per month. I pay the full premium for both my partner and stepdaughter even though I am financially responsible for their medical bills just as much as a married stepmother.

It doesn’t make any sense to me.

If I were legally married, my employer would pay a portion of both my spouses and children’s premiums. I would pay $73.44 for a spouse and $106.86 for spouse and child.

Let me emphasize this fact: The U pays more than $500 in benefit premiums to a straight, married couple with children than it does to me, even if we do the same job.

That’s $6,000 a year more in compensation because of their sexual orientation and willingness to have children.

Those insurance rates are a slap in the face to every LGBT employee of the U. The administration has basically said, “We will pay you $6,000 less a year in benefits because of your ‘life choice.'”

Guess what? Getting married and having children is a ‘life choice’ as well-it has nothing to do with equal compensation for equal work.

I wouldn’t care if the U said, “Here’s a check for the difference because you are worth the same to us as a straight, married parent who does your same job,” but it doesn’t. The U would rather us LGBT employees shut up and pay the premiums as a blessing.

That is the effect of passing Amendment 3-LGBT families unable to afford health insurance. I would think the U would be much more progressive than that.

I’ve got news for the U administration: There are many private employers who do pay equal compensation for equal work.

The sooner the U wakes up and realizes it is discriminating against LGBT families, the sooner it will stop losing its valuable employees to the private sector.

Connie Anast

University Hospital Staff