Thursday, July 30, 2009

Federal Domestic Partnership Benefits Bill Clears House Committee

Crossposted with Lez Get Real, written by Paula Brooks.

This morning, the House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia held a markup session on Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin’s (D-WS) H.R. 2517, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act… a legislation that would extend benefits to same-sex domestic partners of federal civilian employees on the same basis as heterosexual spousal benefits.

Bill was reported out of the committee by a vote along party lines of five to three.

Last month at an LGBT Pride event in the White House, President Obama called the bill “crucial legislation that will guarantee these rights for all federal employees,” and pledged his support for the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act during the signing of an Executive Memorandum permitting domestic partners to purchase long-term care insurance and allowing employees to use their sick leave to care for domestic partners and non-biological, non-adopted children.

The Passage of the bill out of the subcommittee this morning was a first step toward it final passage in the U.S. House of Representatives and moves the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act one step closer to the President’s desk.

Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) sponsored a similar bill in the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs in May that currently has 24 co-sponsors.

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