Arkansas Family Council questions Blue Cross coverage of legally married same-sex couples; makes it an issue in Obamacare debate | Arkansas Blog

Monday, February 17, 2014

Arkansas Family Council questions Blue Cross coverage of legally married same-sex couples; makes it an issue in Obamacare debate

Posted By on Mon, Feb 17, 2014 at 7:39 PM

click to enlarge unknown.jpeg
Hate never takes a holiday, not when a vote is pending on reauthorizing spending on the private option expansion of Medicaid.

With a major House vote likely coming tomorrow, the Arkansas Family Council — a "Christian" group dedicated to discrimination against gay people and to making abortion a crime — has written legislators to notify them that Arkansas Blue Cross is extending insurance coverage to same-sex couples legally married in other states. 
The weight of court ruling after court ruling is that government cannot discriminate in benefits against people who have obtained legal marriage in the states. It is called equal protection. It is a bedrock U.S. constitutional principle. The Arkansas Family Council argues that, if the Blue Cross policy includes coverage under the federally financed private option Medicaid expansion plan adopted by the state (it has no evidence than it does and see further note, it probably doesn't), it conflicts with the "spirit" of the Arkansas Constitution. A constitutional amendment pushed by the Family Council prohibits same-sex marriage and the providing of any benefits of marriage to same-sex couples.


A private organization is free to do what it wishes, of course. But the Family Council wants to enshrine discrimination in state law at every possibility, even for a program to which the state doesn't contribute a dime.  Arkansas should never, it believes, do the dastardly thing of giving same-sex couples the full faith and credit they are entitled to from a legal contract in another state. You can bet an amendment will be offered to prohibit this in Arkansas even if it's unnecessary. You can bet it is part of a strategy to attempt to kill the private option.

Hard to believe the feds would send money to a state that discriminates, when the Justice Department is no longer enforcing the Defense of Marriage Act. Maybe we should hope for a victory for Family Council hate. Then the whole law can be struck down, including the terrible amendments offered by Nate Bell to begin the crib death of the program in a way that punts the harm to 100,000 Arkansans until after this year's election.

It's cold comfort that the Jerry Coxes of the world will eventually lose this battle. In Arkansas, meanness is all too abundantly available, not just against gay people, but the poor generally.

PS — Republican Rep. Justin Harris, who makes a living off state-supplied money to his church-oriented pre-school, said in response to a Tweet by me that he knew about equal protection. It applies to Christians, too, he Tweeted. Meaning, I guess, 1) that all Christians discriminate against gay people like he does and 2) that equal protection means he should be allowed to mandate discrimination against those with whom he disagrees. Wrong on both counts. Courts soon should set him straight.

PPS — David Ramsey says only individual coverage, no family plans, are sold under the private option. So this is even more of a red herring than originally thought.

Family Council news release follows.

Tags: , , , , ,

From the ArkTimes store

Favorite

Comments (25)

Showing 1-25 of 25

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-25 of 25

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

Readers also liked…

  • More on how highways were used to wipe out "blight" of non-white neighborhoods

    Vox, a news website that concerns itself with energy and other issues, has a fine piece, including before and after images, on the history of the U.S. interstate system and why roads were built through the middle of cities (unless people of influence stopped them — see Manhattan, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.)
    • Mar 22, 2016
  • City Board votes to table homeless feeding ordinance for 8 weeks, study with commission

    The Little Rock Board of Directors voted tonight to table for eight weeks an ordinance that homeless advocates say would severely limit the ability of charities to feed homeless people in city parks. Before the ordinance was punted, Vice Mayor Kathy Webb proposed a nine-member commission to study the issue and make recommendations to the board.
    • May 16, 2017
  • IHOP coming down, but .....

    I always scan the Little Rock City Board for items of interest this week and this one caught my eye: A zoning measure required by a proposal to tear down the IHOP at Markham and University.
    • Apr 30, 2016

Most Shared

  • City ethics update; campaign limit was supposed to help the little guy

    Some more history on the Little Rock city ordinance that limits candidates for mayor and City Board to raising campaign funds to five months before the November 2018 election. It raises questions not only about Warwick Sabin's fund-raising tactics, but also Mayor Mark Stodola's carryover money.

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Blogroll

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation