Gay Couple Sues NYC Over Fight for IVF Equality

A New York City Gay Couple has filed a class-action lawsuit against New York City officials for the city’s health plan discriminating against gay men by excluding them from in vitro fertilization (IVF) coverage.

Action Against NY Officials

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Former New York County Assistant District Attorney Corey Briskin and his husband, Nicholas Maggipinto, have filed a class-action lawsuit against New York City Mayor Eric Adams, former Mayor Bill de Blasio, and other city officials.

Excluded from IVF

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The couple’s main argument for the lawsuit is that New York City discriminates against gay men by excluding them from in vitro fertilization (IVF) coverage in the city’s health plan.

Defining Infertility

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In the city’s health plan, for a couple to be covered for IVF, they have to be considered “infertile,” and the definition they use is the source of this problem.

Unprotected Heterosexual Sex

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The city’s health plan defines infertility based on a couple’s inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected heterosexual sex or intrauterine insemination.

Unable to Receive Coverage

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Since the health plan specifically mentions the need to be able to reproduce as a couple, many LGBTQ+ couples in New York will be unable to receive coverage if they are looking to have a child.

Excluding Gay Men

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Strangely enough, the city’s health plan provides IVF coverage for female employees and male employees with female partners but excludes gay men for not qualifying under the city’s definition of infertility.

Delaying Children

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Corey Briskin and Nicholas Maggipintohave wanted to have children for some time no but have been forced to delay this next step in their relationship due to the extremely high cost of IVF that they would be paying out of pocket.

Violating Laws

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Now, Briskin and Maggipinto are arguing that this violate federal, state, and city anti-discrimination laws, as well as the U.S. and New York constitutions.

Setting a Precedent

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Maggipinto commented on the case and criticized New York’s IVF healthcare policy for its discrimination against gay men looking to have children.

Keeping The City Running

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Maggipinto said, “New York City employs over 300,000 people. These are the people that keep one of the greatest, largest, and most progressive cities in the world running. 

The Same People

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Maggipinto then said, “these are the same people that are now effectively having the government decide whether they can have children or not.”

Setting a Precedent

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If Briskin and Maggipinto’s lawsuit is successful, it will set a legal precedent that employers nationwide must provide gay male employees with IVF benefits if other employees receive them.

Going Forward with the Lawsuit

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Originally, Briskin and Maggipinto filed a discrimination complaint with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in 2022 before finally going forward with the lawsuit this past year.

A Huge Impact

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When discussing the case, the lawyer for the couple, Peter Romer-Friedman, says the potential impact on gay men looking to be parents across the country could be huge.

Not Covering Surrogates

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In their defense, the representatives of New York City argue that gay men are excluded because the plan does not cover surrogates, which is why lesbian couples are not facing this same issues.

The Law of the Land

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Friedman said, “If our legal position in this case is upheld, it will mean that the inclusive definition of infertility that the ASRM has set forth would be the law of the land.” 

Sending a Strong Message

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Friedman then went on to say, “It will send a strong and resounding message to employers across the country that they have to provide these benefits, and they could be on the wrong side of enforcing action if they refuse.”

Moving Forward with Hope

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However, Friedman also expressed hope that the city would be willing to work with the couple in order change the policy in order to make it more inclusive.

Working With the City’s Leaders

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Friedman said, “We hope that the City’s leaders will work with us now to reform this discriminatory policy and ensure that all City employees and their partners can access IVF.”

The post Gay Couple Sues NYC Over Fight for IVF Equality first appeared on Pulse of Pride.

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