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Michigan Church Moves to Extend Health Care to Gay Couples

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 03/05/16

From The Detroit Free Press:

In a move praised by LGBT advocates, the Catholic Church in Michigan is making changes to its health care plan that could allow gays to get health care for their partners or spouses. In a letter sent this week to pastors and employees of the Catholic Church in Michigan, the Michigan Catholic Conference said it is modifying its health care coverage to include legally domiciled adults (LDA), meaning those who are above 18, have lived with the employee for at least six months and are financially interdependent with the employee. As long as the person meets those criteria, they will get health care coverage, regardless of their sexual orientation or activity, said a Michigan Catholic Conference official. The move is being made to comply with changes in federal law, which now allows for same-sex marriage, and also to keep in line with the teachings of the Catholic Church, which opposes same-gender sexual acts and same-gender marriage. The Michigan Catholic Conference, based in Lansing, oversees the health care for Catholic employees in the state. A gay couple would not qualify under the current health insurance’s spousal coverage since the Catholic Church only defines a spouse as someone of the opposite gender. The Michigan Catholic Conference indicated that it  will not investigate the sexual activities or behaviors of those applying for the new LDA coverage to find out whether  someone is in a same-sex relationship. …”The Church’s teaching on marriage and human sexuality is not changing,” said Dave Maluchnik, director of communications for the Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC). “The only reason MCC is making this eligibility modification to its health benefit policy is to be consistent with Catholic teaching on marriage — one man and one woman. Going forward, relationship will not be an evaluative criterion for including another individual (LDA) as a recipient of MCC’s health benefit.  And none of this changes Catholic teaching; it complies with federal law, as it is, in 2016. This is the world in which we now live.”

Read it all.

Photo: Pixabay

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