Who Does Gay Marriage Effect? Every Employer in New York.


For those not up on their tax law, a New York law firm has issued a tax guidance for same-sex marriage and employee benefits.

While this area of law is complex, one particularly interesting thing to note is that New York's redefinition of marriage means employers will now have to offer health coverage to unmarried opposite-sex partners if they offer domestic partner benefits (as many employers do).

What constitutes an opposite-sex partner? That remains to be seen (and litigated). Does it mean that cohabiting opposite-sex partners must both be covered on an employee's health plan? What happens if employers drop that type of coverage, does that mean gay couples in a domestic partnership who choose NOT to get a marriage license will lose their health benefits?

Regardless of one’s opinion of the law, it certainly shows that redefining marriage does impact lots of people beyond the couples who want to get a marriage license: it impacts every employer.