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Brooklyn gay couple files complaint against city’s denial of IVF benefits available to heterosexual couples

A gay couple from Brooklyn has filed a complaint against the city after coverage for their in vitro fertilization process was denied based what they allege is a discriminatory requirement.

Corey Briskin and Nicholas Maggipinto planned to have a family together over a decade ago. They became engaged in 2014 and married in 2016. “I know that neither one of us would have considered marrying the other if there was no interest in starting a family and having children,” Briskin said.

Their plans included IVF, where an egg is combined with sperm by specialists in a lab, and then hire a surrogate who would carry the baby to term.

When Briskin took a job as a city attorney at the New York County District Attorney’s Office in Manhattan in 2017, the couple encountered an unexpected roadblock. The city’s insurance policy did not cover IVF treatments for gay male couples.

The 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.” Briskin and Maggipinto say the definition technically excludes gay male couples, who are unable to fulfill the requirements as they are written as all other couples can.

The complaint filed by the couple and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says “the City and its insurers have interpreted [the definition] to mean intercourse between a man and a female, thereby making it impossible for Mr. Briskin and Mr. Maggipinto to satisfy the definition.”

“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,” said a spokesperson for New York City Mayor Eric Adams. “The city will review the details of the complaint.”

ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: NBC NEWS

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Laura is a freelance writer out of Maryland and a mom of three. Her background is in political science and international relations, and she has been doing political writing and editing for 17 years. Laura has also written parenting pieces for the Today Show and is currently working on writing a collection of remarkable true stories about normal people. She writes for FBA because unbiased news is vital to unity, and readers deserve the facts free of opinion.

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