Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"Congratulations on making partner...."

About once a month I find a news story somewhere which was designed to publicize (and, of course, embarrass) ExxonMobil as one of the few big companies left in America that do not offer gay partner benefits.

Here's this month's installment, courtesy of al-Reuters.

It's the old Chinese water torture, I guess... no single story makes any real impact, but over time, the drip drip drip of the news might shame the old boys into stepping up. We journalists are just humbly doing our part to change the world for the better, you know.

As an ExxonMobil stockholder, allow me to state the obvious:

ExxonMobil is not in any way obligated to give spousal benefits to distant relatives, close friends, pets, favorite cars, bridge partners, dance partners, law partners or gay partners.

Benefits are not obligatory, just good business practice for getting and keeping high quality employees.

And let's face it, you can't marry your dog, your Corvette, your bowling team or a person of the same sex as you. None of those things is marriage. Benefits are for employees, their spouses and their kids.

And if they DO give benefits to "partners", will the partners then be required to prove they're having sex?

After all, if I ever get divorced I'll probably live with a roommate to save money. Couldn't I then say, "it's totally unfair for those two gay guys to share corporate benefits when I can't. have a roommate too, we share expenses, we plan for the future, the only thing we don't do is have sex with each other. That's unfair and discriminatory!"

Such a case is coming, folks, and it won't be long. And they'll probably win.

Giving benefits to gay partners opens the door, and soon everyone who lives with or shares expenses with anyone is going to demand them, and might get them, STARTING with hetero couples who live together but have not made the commitment of marriage. And there are LOTS of those.

This will be expensive, and it will prove to be one more good reason for marriage that has gone by the wayside.

You do realize they've already successfully altered the meaning of "gay". It used to mean "lighthearted, happy". Now they want to make "marriage" mean whatever anyone wants it to mean. Which of course is how a word ends up meaning nothing at all.

What's next? A "waltz" in 4/4 time? A "water heater" that makes water colder? Hey, why not market a "sugar free" soft drink that's loaded with sugar? They're only words, after all, and they can mean whatever we want them to mean.... right?

Or maybe we'll have a "religion of peace" whose practitioners commit mass murder and slaughter and bloodshed and--

Oh, wait. Already got one.

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