Drudge falsely claims Google is going to "pay gay employees more than straights"

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Proving yet again that his commitment to breaking "news" that appeals to the conservative noise machine trumps any commitment to facts and reality, Matt Drudge is currently hosting the following link on his website:

The article he links to makes no mention of gay employees being paid "more than" straight employees. What it does indicate is that Google will be adjusting the paychecks for its same-sex couples in order to cover a "disparity" in federal taxes on domestic partner benefits.

Here's how the New York Times explained the move by Google [emphasis added]:

Under federal law, employer-provided health benefits for domestic partners are counted as taxable income, if the partner is not considered a dependent. The tax owed is based on the value of the partner's coverage paid by the employer.

On average, employees with domestic partners will pay about $1,069 more a year in taxes than a married employee with the same coverage, according to a 2007 report by M. V. Lee Badgett, director of the Williams Institute, a research group that studies sexual orientation policy issues.

So Google is essentially going to cover those costs, putting same-sex couples on an even footing with heterosexual employees whose spouses and families receive health benefits.

A more accurate Drudge headline would have been: "Google to pay gay employees the same as straights," but I guess that just sounds too sane and reasonable.

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Matt Drudge
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