Sen. Gordon Smith and Sen. Joe Lieberman introduced legislation that will extend domestic partner benefits to federal employees Wednesday, according to a press release from the U.S. Senate.
“The federal government should be leading the way rather than following when it comes to providing benefits,” Sen. Smith said. “Rights and benefits must be afforded to all employees equally. This bill corrects the current inequity.”
No way in hell is Bush going to sign this, but still it’s nice to see the effort being made. Hopefully one day we’ll all be able to take care of our families adequately, no matter how they’re comprised. We may soon have same-sex marriage in Vermont, and the tax-filing problems for gay couples alone if there’s a discrepancy between Federal and State policy are going to be a nightmare.
Those problems are already happening:
She and her partner recently wrongfully were taxed by the state of Vermont on their health insurance payments after she was added to her partner’s policy, she said. This was apparently due to a software error that did not note they were joined in a civil union, she said, and it may have happened to other same-sex couples too.
As last night’s meeting in Montpelier showed, gay couples are proving that this we’re not “mocking” marriage–indeed, we’re strengthening it:
Members of the Vermont Commission on Family Recognition and Protection heard only statements of support for moving past civil unions to same-sex marriage during the two-hour hearing at Montpelier’s Statehouse. . .
But of the 8,516 civil unions performed here since they became legal in 2001, only 161 have had their unions dissolved, he said, a rate likely far lower than the percentage of divorces during the same period.“A lot of people tend to think gays and lesbians are not normal,” Vinton joked. “Well, as far as marriage goes maybe they are right.”
Yer darned tootin’. (Too colliquial? That means the statement before it was undeniably correct.)