A same-sex married couple have filed a class action plea against the City of New York, alleging that its insurance plan for employees was discriminatory as it did not extend IVF or in vitro fertilisation coverage to gay male couples. 

Corey Briskin (33) and Nicholas Maggipinto (36) claim that the city’s policy covers lesbian and heterosexual couples who are trying to have a child, but not gay male couples, reported The New York Times.

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Briskin, a former assistant district attorney, married Maggipinto, in March 2016. The couple had met in November 2011, while both were pursuing a law degree at Brooklyn Law School.

Discriminatory Policy Excludes Gay Male Couples

Corey Briskin (front) and Nicholas Maggipinto are suing the City of New York over its policy denying IVF coverage to gay couples.

The couple said their plans to have children via surrogacy were stopped in the tracks when they found out that they could not avail of City of New York’s insurance coverage. They could not afford the exorbitant costs otherwise.

The city’s policy says that to be eligible for IVF coverage a person had to be diagnosed as infertile. The insurance policy defines infertility as “the inability to conceive after 12 months of unprotected intercourse” or after 12 cycles of intrauterine insemination, or IUI, over 12 months.

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While the policy doesn’t define intercourse, according to the couple, the City and its insurers have interpreted it as heterosexual intercourse between a man and a woman. 

‘City Of New York Supports LGBTQI Rights’

The City of New York in a statement said that Mayor Eric Adams’ administration “proudly supports the rights of LGBTQ+ New Yorkers to access the health care they need.” 

“New York City has been a leader in offering IVF treatments for any city employee or dependent covered by the city’s health plan who has shown proof of infertility, and our policies treat all people covered under the program equally, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. The city will review the details of the complaint,” the statement said.

The couple told The New York Times that the policy reinforces the false idea that gay couples are not fit to be parents.  Briskin told the publication that it was “mind blowing that in 2022 we’re still having this conversation about a policy that so clearly excludes gay men because of horribly antiquated views of homosexuality. We got the ability to get married and the rest would have been kind of smooth sailing, but we were sorely mistaken.”

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