Homosexuals Seek Survivors Benefits Intended for Families

July 7, 2008 - 8:03 PM

(CNSNews.com) - Homosexual activists are seeking to exploit the September 11 terrorist attacks to gain legal acceptance for their sexual partnerships according to a pro-family watchdog group, even as "domestic partners" of homosexuals killed in the strikes are applying for and receiving "survivor's" benefits.

Robert Knight of the Culture and Family Institute (CFI) of Concerned Women for America monitors pro-homosexual political activities. He says the movement's lobbyists are busy working behind the scenes while Americans attempt to rebuild their lives.

"The nation's leaders have called for a cease-fire on the hot-button social issues, and yet the left has not gotten the message," Knight said. "Instead, they are using the nation's crisis as a cover to continue to promote their agenda."

As evidence, he noted comments like those made by the Communications Director for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest homosexual political lobby.

David Smith, in an interview with the Lesbian and Gay New York online newspaper, told reporter Duncan Osborne that the $15 billion package of federal aid for airlines and survivors would probably not allow homosexuals claiming survivorship to receive any money.

"We are very concerned about the compensation package that was quickly passed through Congress," the article quoted Smith as saying. "Unless it was specifically spelled out in a will, it is very difficult for domestic partners to apply for compensation... It is our hope to work with Congress on those issues."

Knight says family benefits were originally created to provide for a stay-at-home parent caring for children, not for homosexual sex partners who usually both work.

"They are trying to hijack the moral capital of marriage and apply it to their own relationships," he said. "This is creating counterfeit marriage, by another name."

Calls to the Human Rights Campaign were not returned.

Three states - New York, Pennsylvania, and Virginia - split more than $15 million from the Justice Department's Office of Victims of Crime (DOJ-OVC). The money is awarded to crime victims or their survivors according to the standards set by each state.

Pennsylvania will receive $2,487,000 from the program. According to spokeswoman Allison Delsite, the Pennsylvania Bureau of Victim Services says each state sets its own guidelines for distributing funds to victims.

"Last I heard we were simply following Pennsylvania's Victim Compensation Program," she said, "and in that, the people who are eligible are the immediate family members who lived with the victim at the time the death took place."

Delsite says the situation becomes less clear when the survivors live in one state, but the victim was killed in another. In that case, she says, the laws and rules of the state in which the victim was killed would apply. But she says Pennsylvania would help connect survivors to resources in Virginia or New York under those circumstances.

Mary Ware with the Virginia Division of Crime Victims Compensation says the Commonwealth's system will use the $1.5 million it received to pay for, or reimburse survivors for any expenses that are "reasonable, necessary, and related to the crime."

"Actually, everybody who was in the Pentagon on the day of the attack is eligible for our fund," she said. "Of course, whatever we pay for has to be directly related to the crime. It would have to be counseling, or funeral expense, or if you had a prescription that your insurance wouldn't pay for, or something like that."

Ware says victims, or surviving grandparents, parents, siblings, spouses, and children are eligible to receive compensation under the Virginia program. She added that other people who were dependent on the victim for support could be eligible, as well.

A homosexual "domestic partner" could receive reimbursement under the program, but only if someone on the list of eligible claimants submits a bill on their behalf.

"We will pay that person, if the eligible claimant tells us to," she said.

New York received $13,040,200 to distribute to victims and survivors. Although calls to the New York Crime Victims Board were not returned, an executive order signed by Governor George Pataki under the state's disaster emergency law October 10 modifies state law regarding distribution of benefits to "domestic partners" and other non-family members by the board.

"A person dependent on a victim who dies as the direct result of a crime shall be eligible to receive awards for lost earnings or support if at least fifty percent of such person's support was provided by such victim," the order states.

Previously, the law had required that a non-family survivor establish that they depended on the victim for 75 percent of their support. That requirement had disqualified most homosexual "domestic partners" from receiving awards in the past. In the order, Pataki said the provision had "produced unjust results."

Knight says well-meaning people, who just want to see those suffering from a loss receive help, may not recognize the homosexual political agenda at work in the middle of a tragedy.

"The danger here is that they will use this as a precedent and try to institutionalize domestic partner benefits on the federal level" he said. "It is a way that homosexuals and their allies are working to undermine the entire concept of marriage and family."

But conservative House members believe any distribution of money from the DOJ-OVC program to "domestic partners" would already be banned by federal law. The Defense of Marriage Act, which took effect in 1997, defines marriage as "a union between one man and one woman as husband and wife." It also defines a "spouse" as "a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or wife."

"They can't do it," one Republican congressional staff member who had researched the issue said of giving benefits to "domestic partners" of homosexuals. "It's against the law."

Some charities, which are not covered by that law, are already giving money to the "domestic partners" of homosexuals killed in the terrorist attacks. In a letter to the Human Rights Campaign, John A. Clizbe, vice president for disaster services of the American Red Cross, writes that the organization is using a "broad and inclusive definition of family" to determine who is eligible for survivor's benefits.

"In doing so, we recognize traditional married families, as well as the committed relationships and domestic partnerships of many couples who are living together," Clizbe's letter continues. "Accordingly, these broadly defined families who have been living together are eligible for American Red Cross assistance."

In an October 12 press release, the Red Cross indicated that $100 million has been dedicated to its "Family Gift Program." Under that program, near-term financial assistance is provided to for food, clothing, utilities, transportation, childcare, rent or mortgage, childcare, tuition, funeral-related costs, and other time-sensitive expenses.

"Many of those who perished in the brutal attacks were in the prime of their lives, supporting young families," states the press release. "The loved ones they left behind may never have expected to need financial or any other kind of help. They must be allowed to grieve in dignity without concerns about sudden financial shortfalls."

United Way of America spokeswoman Ann Andrews said the relief fund for victims is being managed by the United Way of New York City. She was not aware of any specific policy regarding "domestic partners," but described an open door for those seeking assistance.

"I know there is a policy that basically includes everybody," she said. "Whoever needs help gets it."

Knight says that end result is exactly why Exxon-Mobil discontinued benefits for "domestic partners" of their employees.

"They said they didn't want to be in the position of assessing the legitimacy of relationships," Knight said. "Once you get outside marriage it all becomes very subjective."