They Can’t Give an Inch

Last month, President Bush signed The Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (WRERA), legislation designed to clarify a provision in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), which, as the Human Right Campaign explained, “made it possible for employers to allow any nonspouse beneficiary of an employee’s retirement plan—including an employee’s same-sex partner—to roll inherited retirement benefits directly to an individual retirement account (IRA) and avoid immediate taxation.”

Prior to passage of the PPA, same-sex partners who inherited retirement plan savings were forced to pay taxes on the amount while married spouses could roll the savings over with no tax penalty. Provisions in the PPA were designed to remedy this inequity but, after passage, such provisions were interpreted to be optional for employers and thus WRERA was passed to clarify that companies are required to offer this protection to all employees.

Of course, now the Right is mad about this because … well, if we start treating gays equally, they’ll demand that they be treated equally

Peter Sprigg is vice president for policy at the Family Research Council in Washington, DC. He says the new law is an example of how homosexual activists have made many of their policy advances.

“Sometimes they throw the long ball, so to speak, and have these big court cases that declare same-sex ‘marriage’ to be the law of the state, like we’ve seen in Massachusetts, California, and Connecticut,” says Sprigg. “And other times it’s the ground game, so to speak — just grinding it out with these short little plays that advance their agenda a yard at a time.”

Sprigg says the practical impact of the new law benefiting same-sex couples will be minimal, but it will have a troubling cumulative effect. He believes the more such benefits are accrued by same-sex couples, the more plausible it appears for them to argue they should be treated just the same as married couples in everything.

If we don’t keep discriminating, next thing you know gays will be saying that “they should be treated just the same.” And we can’t have that now, can we?