Sinfulness of providing health insurance to gay couples


Hi all, I saw a post in another section about Creighton University now providing health benefits to people in same sex marriages… and then I saw a bunch of others saying how wrong that was because it’s a Catholic institution, etc.

I posted on there this:

"Well, if it’s wrong to give benefits to people who are sinning then NO ONE should be getting health insurance. (Because last I checked the Church teaches we’re all sinners.)

On another note, if it’s only wrong to give benefits to people who are committing sins related to marriage, then any married couples who are Catholic who are not married in the Church or who are divorced and remarried should also not be receiving benefits. This means the janitors, professors, secretaries, cafeteria ladies…we should investigate what kinds of sins they’re committing before we give them health benefits…otherwise, if we’re only going to exclude homosexuals … I mean, if that isn’t the definition of singling a group out because we just like them less then I don’t know what is."

So I wondered what you guys would say about this in moral theology…is it immoral to provide health care benefits to gay couples? Is it immoral to provide benefits to couples who are divorced and remarried? Who aren’t married in the Church if they’re Catholic?

Is one more wrong than the other? If so, why?


Providing insurance isn’t an issue of morality at all.

I don’t understand these arguments.


Oh, it’s not?

Well, what would it be an issue of then?

It seems a lot of people are upset about this happening at Creighton University… they seem to think it is wrong. I thought issues of right and wrong were issues of morality.


Maybe you could explain to us why this is wrong.

I myself see nothing wrong with it.


IMHO, no.

If anything, justice. It is an injustice to not provide insurance (in our current system) and healthcare for people. Because of the way our current insurance system is set up, mainly through employers, employers get to dictate who can be on your insurance plan and who can’t. Typically they limit it to certain family members, but that is simply a construct designed to keep plan costs down.

Theoretically, you could and should be able to cover whomever you please-- especially if you are paying the premiums. For example, prior to insurance reform my brother had a “pre existing condition” and could not qualify for individual plans. He would have been able to go on a group plan, but was self employed. So, it is an artificial construct of the insurance companies and employers that barred me from being able to cover my brother because he was not classified in arbitrary categories such as “spouse” or “dependent”. There have been arguments for being able to cover related or unrelated people in your household (or even not in your household) for many years. In employer examples, they bear the burden of the expenses and costs related to claims (particularly if self-insured) so it makes sense that they would limit who you can cover.

A lot of people get upset about a lot of things. In many states, the legal status of same sex couples would require the employer to extend benefits to the same sex couples if they plan to continue to allow spousal coverage.

However, it doesn’t appear that Nebraska gives any legal status to same sex unions, civil or “marriages”. So, it is a puzzling step by Creighton University since it is located in NE.

If anything, I think it would give scandal in that it gives the appearance that Creighton is acknowledging and accepting same sex relationships.

People want to make it into an issue of right and wrong. I don’t really see it that way in the case of insurance coverage-- it’s a product you buy, and I think anyone can and should be able to buy it, through the open market, an employer, etc.

I don’t think it’s a matter of morality, excepting that depending on the details it could certainly be looked at as scandal.


Well, I really like your response.

Regarding scandal, is it the same with divorce and remarried?


Assume the Church gives married couples the benefit of the doubt. Catholics must be married in the Catholic Church, all other marriages between men and women are deemed to be valid (i.e. if two atheists marry at the courthouse, the Church considers them married). It is impossible for Creighton to know whether a married couple was previously married and divorced, etc. However, it is very clear that two men or two women cannot be validly married in the eyes of the Church. Therefore, there is no recognition of this marriage, and Catholic institutions should abide by that.

Employer-provided insurance is not a right, it is a benefit that the company can elect to offer. They restrict it to spouses and dependents because you have to draw the line somewhere. If not, I (as an employee) could ‘sell’ access to the benefits to anyone who wants them (friend, significant other, or a total stranger). There are other reasons as well, I’m sure, but the fact remains that it is only offered to family members, and since there is no doubt about two men or two women in regards to marriage, there is no insurance offering. I fear Creighton is acting outside of Church teaching at this point.


Well, Christ told us to tend the sick, feed the hungry, clothe the naked etc. He also said to love our neighbor— so,

One can assist someone (think of providing insurance as tending to your sick neighbor) that is a sinner and with whom you don’t agree. Now I think the University can make the statement that while Catholic teaching doesn’t support the concept of same sex marriage, it certainly addresses assisting our neighbors.


No it’s not, because what’s being insured has nothing to do with “gayness” or the lifestyle. Because someone’s gay they should be allowed to suffer with untreated cancer or back pain or injuries from an accident - or any of the thousands of other physical / emotional ailments than human beings can suffer from? Don’t think so.


I disagree with grouping “providing insurance” into “tending to the sick”. Not offering someone health insurance through another person’s plan is not the same as hindering that person from receiving treatment.

As for not supporting same-sex marriage but assisting our neighbors, the question is whether it offers coverage for boyfriends/girlfriends/roommates. If so, then couples in a same sex ‘marriage’ can fall under that. But if coverage is only for spouses, recognition of that ‘marriage’ (especially when not compelled by law) goes against Catholic teaching.

There is another thread discussing how Elton John calls Pope Francis his hero, and the debate about whether the Holy Father should clarify Church teaching very deliberately in the media. My thought is that the Church needs to do more to engage those with same-sex attractions, but softening our stance only harms the Faith.


Nothing, but the question is whether Creighton is recognizing the validity of same-sex marriages through its insurance benefits offered to employees.

Please don’t let this post turn into unequal rights - everyone (theoretically) should now have access to health care, but the question here is whether employers are required to provide it to people in same-sex marriages if 1) The state doesn’t compel them and 2) Their beliefs are that same-sex marriage is a fiction, and thus should not be recognized as valid.


You do not need a sacramental marriage to receive health benefits from your spouse. Civil marriage for gay couples is now the law in 31 states. Trying to shout down the Great Pumpkin will no longer work.:wink:


I am always amused at those who don’t have any employees to provide health insurance for lecturing those of us who do on how we should not have a problem covering abortions, contraception and same sex couples. It got to the point I could not longer , in good conscience, provide health insurance for my employees. A govt caused lose/lose situation


The issue at Creighton is that the school has now decided to recognize the same-sex “marriages” that people have contracted in states where it is legal. Treating such unions as anything similar to marriage is the moral problem. What Creighton has done is morally wrong. Had the school simply decided to let all employees cover another person on their plan without giving it the illusion of marriage, it would not be problematic.


Why on earth should your employer decide whether you have coverage, what kind of coverage, how much it should cost and who else should receive coverage on your policy? It’s completely illogical.

So many problems like this would be avoided if we had single-payer insurance, as almost every other industrialized country in the world does.


So I guess gay people should be denied health care because they are gay- sounds so wrong.
Everyone is entitled to health care regardless of who or how they live their lives - should be a basic human right.

How is it sinful?

Maybe we should put a big star on them so we know who they are so we can deny them their basic human rights because they are gay.

Whats this got to do with the Catholic church - I pretty sure the church has no problem with it - everyone deserves health care. I suppose we can judge others who are not gay and deny them their health care also.

If you deny gay people then there is a huge list of others who you should judge as unworthy.


Because they are paying for it.


Where was anyone suggesting homosexuals be denied health coverage?


If your saying its sinful then your are saying they should not get it. Who ever started this post is a crack pot.


The insurance industry did a review years ago when I was “in the business” of the effect of claims when insuring homosexual partners together on one plan. The final outcome was that their claim expenses were far less than regular husbands and wives because they did not bear children which reduced their claim ratio substantially. That was in the 80’s so things may be gravely different considering what must be covered and of course no pre-existing exclusions.


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