Should Homosexual City Employees Get Marriage Benefits?
Written By: Dan Stanley | Posted: Thursday, April 26th, 2012
Update: The Eau Claire City Council voted 10 to 1 in favor of extending health insurance benefits to the partners of homosexual city employees
Recently it has been in the news that the City Council, representing the citizens of Eau Claire, is considering extending marriage benefits to homosexual city employees. The City Council is set to vote on this issue, or at least deciding whether to vote or not, on Tuesday, April 24th.
It needs to be kept clearly in mind that Eau Claire is under no legal requirement to do this. According to the City of Eau Claire Background memo in the City Council Agenda, "...nothing in the law requires municipal employers to permit domestic partners access to employer-sponsored health insurance plans."
Some cities around the state have made insurance available for such situations and some have not. Further, it has become apparent to me and others that this consideration is being decided upon in a very hasty fashion. As far as I can ascertain, there has been no public meetings on whether to offer health insurance to homosexual couples or not. I personally called one of my Councilmen about being able to address the issue, and he conveyed to me clearly that the meetings being held April 23rd and 24th would not allow that. He was not happy with this limitation; nevertheless, he stated the facts.
Whether it is voted on or not does not change what I am about to write. Hopefully it will not be passed, so the following can be discussed among the conclusions of others beside myself.
It is very disturbing that several words are being used that cloak the moral element in regards to what is happening. Words like "same-sex" and "domestic partnership" all sound nice and render somewhat innocuous the deeper and larger issue. It is as if we are discussing legal or social terms versus lifestyles and morality, including right and wrong.
This is very disturbing. Regardless of a person's beliefs, we need to keep the "cards on the table." What is being considered is whether we are going to use our tax money to support homosexual couples in a very open way - by recognizing their status as credible and acceptable.
The minute this recognition is seen as it really is, then there are some (myself included) who are forced into a confrontational position. You must understand something. For the Christian, some things are very plain. If you tell him so and so is a thief, he understands you. If you tell him a couple is living in adultery or fornication (immorally), this is not only plain, it matters to him. He recognizes it is not only contrary to the Bible (God's Word), but that it is destructive to both those living immorally as well as to those around them. He is against such a lifestyle, and opposes it. He will not countenance it in anyone's life, including his own. He will not be quiet. To be quiet is to "give consent." The worst thing that could happens to the Christian or any person with a sense of moral right and wrong is to force him to support what he concludes is immoral and contrary to the Bible.
Thomas Jefferson said it well when he wrote:
"To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical." -- Thomas Jefferson, Statute of Religious Freedom, 1779.
The Bible states it even better when God says to the wicked:
"When you sawest a thief, then thou consentedst with him, and hast been partaker with adulterers... These things hast thou done, and I (God) kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such as one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes." - Psalms 50:18-21
In other words, to say nothing is to consent. In this case, to do nothing (like oppose it) is worse than consent. It is compliance, plain and simple.
If you asked the Christian his vote concerning extending benefits, let us say to a man or woman living in adultery, he would object immediately. This is especially true if it was directly and openly a means of supporting their adultery. Likewise to support couples living together, whether homosexuals or heterosexuals, is objectionable and abhorrent to Christians.
This is not a financial issue (it may be, but that is not what matters the most in this regard). This is a moral issue. I may have my reservations about (and do at times) some things we do as a city or how we do them. And it is true, that some of those hesitations would regard what is moral or not. A good example is how as a city we support many unwed mothers in a manner that promotes laziness and fornication. I know this first hand and there is no excuse for doing so.
But somewhere we need to draw a line for conscience sake. As a city we do not support thieves, nor liars, nor murderers, nor adulterers (we better not). Homosexuality, along with all the shacking up (fornication and adultery), lesbianism, adultery (married immorality), and fornication (the unmarried living together or having a physical relationship outside marriage) is wrong and sinful. We ought to be against it and not lend any support to it. Rather, we ought to expose and oppose it.
God in heaven knows that I have not written this because any of us are better than anyone else. The judge could never sit behind the bench if it demanded his life be without fault. No. He sits and judges based on the law because he at least has a sense of justice, and knows without it being executed, we would decline into anarchy as a people.
The attempt to cloak with words and relegate the issue of supporting any form of immorality to the sidelines is unacceptable. If you want to personally live in open sin as a drunkard you can. But I will not support it as much as lies within me. If you want to live immorally, you can, but don't try to get me to support it.
As a member of the City Council, if you cast a vote to support open sin, whatever kind it may be, don't ask me to support it. And further, don't be surprised if you find me opposing you. I am against you making such determinations. Don't support open immorality. Stop it. "Cease to do evil" (Isaiah 1:16).
Dan Stanley has been a pastor in the Chippewa Valley for over 25 years.