St. Luke’s Hospital Denies Benefits to Same-sex Partners

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Carol Stevens and Beth Goudy were legally married in Iowa. St. Luke’s hospital in the Lehigh Valley has a non-discrimination policy that says it won’t deny benefits to those in protected groups, including “sexual preference, gender identity and expression.” So you’d think Goudy would be able to join Nurse Stevens’ health plan, right? Wrong.

On Dec. 5, her request was denied. It is frustrating to be legally married in one state but not be recognized in another, Stevens said.

“This illustrates the difficult patchwork of LGTB rights in the country,” said Adrian Shanker, president of the nonprofit group Equality Pennsylvania. “You can go five minutes across the border (into New Jersey) and your relationship is now recognized by the state. You step back into Easton, you have no relationship rights.”

While the denial is within St. Luke’s legal rights, it’s leaving lesbian-gay-transgender-bisexual advocates questioning why.

“St. Luke’s created an obscure loophole to expressly deny gay employees these benefits,” said Liz Bradbury, executive director of the Pennsylvania Diversity Network in Allentown. “What’s not clear is why? Why tell the world you don’t discriminate in benefits, and then deny them?”

About Greg

I founded Keystone Politics in 2004. Now I make stuff on the Internet for a living.
This entry was posted in Civil Rights, Lehigh Valley, LGBT / Gay Rights.

10 Responses to St. Luke’s Hospital Denies Benefits to Same-sex Partners

  1. THESE WOMAN ARE LIVING THE LIFESTYLE OF PERVERTS. ST. LUKE'S OBVIOUSLY IS TRYING TO UPHOLD A ENVIRONMENT OF MORAL AND ETHICAL STANDARDS. THE TWO LESBIAN PERVERTS ARE LIVING LIVES OF TOTAL SIN IN OPEN DEFIANCE OF THE LORD/ THEREFORE, THEY AHVE NO MORAL OR ETHICAL STANDARDS. AND THEY SHOULD FIRE THE PERVERT LESBIANS. BECOUSE THEY ARE NASTY- AND DISGRACEFULL- FURTHERMORE- HOMOS ARE GODLESS TRASH-AIDS CAUSING- CHILD MOLESTING-GOING TO HELL TRASH!

    • Greg Palmer says:

      That's ridiculous, Pastor. I barely allowed this comment to be published as it is so filled with hate, but I decided it was worth demonstrating to the public what a bigoted, hateful man you obviously are.

  2. Ed Hoos says:

    Dear Pastor,
    Get a spell-check for Pete's sake……lol

  3. Michelle says:

    That is very sad .. My Employer allows Domestic Partnership Medical Coverage > So I get the coverage for me and my partner and we are not married ,,,, Very sad pastor that you a Man of God having these hateful things coming out of your mouth — God loves us all and it does not matter to him … Jesus forgave Mary Magdalene. You sir are no Pastor of God you are a Pastor of hate and this is what is wrong with this country

  4. Sarah says:

    We'll soon see if BET pulls his airtime. I'm sure that station does NOT want to be giving a podium and airtime to a gay-hating bigot like this Tilton clown.

  5. Greg Palmer says:

    Hi all – thanks for "reporting" the comments of the Pastor. I have decided to allow his hateful comments to remain published as I'm a huge advocate of free speech rights.

  6. civil_discourse says:

    One can be an advocate of free speech without allowing hate-filled diatribes to clog the blog-o-sphere. It is the government that is prohibited from compromising our right of free speech. Unless I am mistaken, the moderator of this column is not the government. There is nothing constructive accomplished by allowing this attack to be published, while on the other hand – ask any member of the targeted group – a lot of pain is inflicted on those who self-identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender.

    • Greg Palmer says:

      That's a good point, but I don't think this one comment clogs the discourse we promote on the site. Also, I'm gay and recognize as much as anyone the pain remarks like that can cause, which is why I think it's important to show that hatred exists and not gloss over it and pretend it doesn't.

      • civil_discourse says:

        Do we really need one more reminder that hatred exists? However, of all the comments posted here, there is one comment that mentions the subject matter, and all the comments respond to the Pastor's hatred. I would posit that remarks like his turn people away from discussing the real issue, because there is no point in joining a discussion if there is a good chance of having the whole conversation devolve into baseless claims, lies, and name-calling.

  7. Do Unto Others... says:

    I think St. Luke's needs to understand that it has actually aligned itself with hateful homophobes like the one writing above, by creating a pro-diversity policy and then refusing to follow it. What possible reason could St. Luke's have for doing this other than deep-seated discrimination? Lehigh Valley Health Network – which does give these benefits — has demonstrated that they do not impact the benefits budget, which probably exceeds 100 million for St. Luke's. There is simply no other reason to deny giving them other than prejudice. St. Luke's obviously knows that kind of prejudice is morally wrong, or it wouldn't ave created the equal benefits policy — so why use a loophole to deny them?