Bush Signs Gay Rights Bill. Yes, You Read That Right

“Call it a Christmas present for gay and lesbian couples. President Bush signed the Worker, Retiree and Employer Recovery Act of 2008 (WRERA) two days before Christmas. The new law makes it mandatory for businesses to roll over retirement benefits to a same-sex partner in the event of the employee’s death. Previously, employers could decline and surviving same-sex partners would have to pay tax on the inheritance of the deceased partner’s retirement savings. Legally married heterosexual couples automatically avoid that tax penalty.” [Minnesota Independent]

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  • daniel k

    hmmm.. I’ll never be a fan, but I’ve always suspected Bush wasn’t as anti-gay as his base pushed him to be. Signed right before x-mas.. way to sneak it by them W.

  • flightoftheseabird

    @daniel k: There are tapes of then Gov Bush refusing to villify gays, so I agree. But the problem is he is a member of a party that is debating whether or not “Negro” is a bad thing.

  • Alan down in Florida

    So let me understand this. Last week he initiates a presidential order allowing homophobic medical personnel to exercise their consciences and refuse care to AIDS patients and this week he signs a bill preventing employers from doing the same.

    Talk about your mixed signals.

  • dvlaries

    :o Somebody check the weather report in hell, will ya? :o

  • Darth Paul

    @daniel k: Most of the administration wasn’t all that bible-thumpy christian, and most of the anti-gay assery came via others in the party as well as fundie supporters. I mean, Cheney’s own daughter is out and totally supported by her family.

    It seems that Fundamental Christianity is every bit as much a marketing machine as queerness is. It would behoove us to stop thinking we’re something politically special beyond that.

  • REBELComx

    So…a federal tax bill that will make corporations recognize same-sex partners.
    One step closer to federally recognizing marriage, if you ask me.
    W is just another example of a politician adopting anti-gay views during his campaign in order to rally his base and as an excuse to get a better approval rate once in office. But the bill he signed allowing medical practitioners to refuse service on moral or religious beliefs is a step backwards. The man obviously has conflicting views of Rights and is unsure how to reconciling his own opposing viewpoints.
    If one word could describe Bush in the later part of his presidency, I think it would be CONFUSED.

  • Chad

    I suspect this move ultimately just saves businesses money somehow. Look for some innoctuous positioning of words that turns this law into a money laundering machine.

    At the very very very least, the law will have no teeth outside of municipalities where there is no recognition of same-sex partners.

    Apple did that once, by creatively phrasing their anti- discrimination policy as “shall not illegally discriminate on the basis of …, sexual orientation, etc.”. Meaning that they reserved the right to discriminate legally in a homophobic county where they planned to build a factory.

  • sparkle obama

    it won’t surprise me to see some of you kids finding it easier to credit bush than obama on the “he don’t hate us, exactly ” scale…
    some the same folks who are mad at obama for being a sincere christian are the ones who previously tried to tie him to islam, farrakhan etc.
    anyway, rancor aside:
    conservatives and progressives are going to have to work together on these issues.
    are We girls ready to put down our icepicks now and negotiate like ladies??

  • Tim

    So Obama is having Rick Warren pray at his inauguration, and Bush has just signed a gay rights bill. Am I in Bizzaro Land?

  • JPinWeHo

    So I’m confused. Wouldn’t this law be in violation of DOMA, since it would be conferring “marriage” benefits on gay couples? Can anyone enlighten me?

  • Sandushinka

    If you click thru to the HRC press release, it says that companies will now be required to allow non-spousal beneficiaries to rollover the funds. It doesn’t matter who the non-spousal beneficiary is–sister, brother, parent, friend, partner. It’s conferring a benefit on anyone who isn’t married. And actually, the benefit was already there but employers could refuse to rollover for same-sex partners. As of 1/1/2010, they won’t be able to refuse anymore.

  • BrianPrince

    As James Richardson from the Skeptician said… republican’s aren’t so entirely anti-gay… they just pander to the people with the money.

    My ex, after-all, was a gay republican (although… now he’s “converted” and is married and has a step-son). I wonder, when I drive by the catholic church… if his son is a convert, too.

  • Jaroslaw

    To No. 12 BrianPrince:

    Yes, all the politicos of all stripes pander to the people with money. Which is why #2’s comment “there are tapes of Bush refusing to villify Gays” doesn’t mean much. I mean, he may not be a brain surgeon, and be pretty dumb sometimes, but even he isn’t going to put a hot poker in his eye. However, if I allow for the possibility Bush isn’t a horrible guy, why then did he allow medical providers an out?

    I’m also going to guess that since most laws are many many pages long, sometimes into the hundreds of pages,

    how about Bush didn’t know this was in there?

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @sparkle obama:

    “are We girls ready to put down our icepicks now and negotiate like ladies??”

    Speak for yourself, slut. (Your own words)

  • Charles J. Mueller


    Wer’re just as confused as you…and REBELcomx. ;-0

  • Charles J. Mueller


    Your ending speculation is an interesting possibility and one that I had not thought of until you mentioned it.

    Mystery solved.

    Case closed. ;-0


  • flightoftheseabird

    @Jaroslaw: Bush knew. HRC worked very closely with the White House on this thing. It has been in the works for months. The question was whether or not it was going to get to the President’s desk under Bush or after the 20th. Both Bush and Obama have said they support it and was going to sign it.

  • Jaroslaw

    well, FOTSB – this is a mystery to me. He panders to the religious right endlessly, etc. Why this, why now?

  • Michael W.

    Barack Obama the bigot could stand to learn a few things from this great man.

    Seems like the “change” we were sold is for the worse. Who knew that gay rights would actually be moving a few steps backward after Obama took office?

    You brainwashed idiots should’ve voted McCain/Palin on November 4th. The Maverick probably would have used HIS inauguration to reach out to gays instead of bigoted evangelicals.

  • Bill Perdue

    Why did Bush do it?

    Bush has lately become worried about his ‘place in history’. So at the last minute he put this little fig leaf on his record of unrelenting bigotry. He obviously didn’t want to be equated with all-out bigots like Bill Clinton who gave us DADT, legalizing and codifying military bigotry, and who not only rammed DOMA through Congress but went on to boast about it in a play to increase his appeal to bigot voters in the bible belt.

    But now we have a new entrant in the field of “Most Bigoted President”. Obama is already running neck and neck with the records of Bush and Clinton. Like Bush he endlessly panders to bigots. And like Clinton, Obama is busy hammering nails into the coffin of same sex marriage equality. With a little help from Warren and the mormon and catholic cults Obama wrecked our campaign to preserve marriage in California based on his backward superstitious ignorance. sparkley O calls that ‘being a sincere christian’ but he’s wrong about that like everything else he says.

    sparkley O doesn’t understand that virtually all religion is mindless bigotry, whether it’s practiced by Obama, the pope, Clinton, Pat Robertson, Bush or the ayatollahs. And that all the hope GLBT people had for an Obama presidency is going to turn to rage except for those suffering from a brain pay clotted by sparkly glitter dust.)

  • Bill Perdue

    brain pay = brain pan

  • andy_d

    @JPinWeHo: As I understand it, DOMA only covers recognition (or the refusal thereof) of same sex couples as regards Federal Laws and Regulations, not private industry. I would be very interested to see how the Office of Personnel Management will react to this development.

  • PJR

    @Michael W.: Seriously? You’re awesome!

  • BrianPrince


    There’s definitely always the possibility that the queer agenda somehow discretely made it into legislation, that when codified, stood taller than the lame-duck President… and that he just wasn’t entirely thorough when reviewing it…

    but there’s also a possibility that now… when he’s got what is likely one of the nation’s best retirement plans (spare the CEO’s of GM, Chase, ING… of course), and he doesn’t have to consider the potential issue of re-election or the likely loss of popularity among the the repub-money-whores… and now that he’s well on his way out… he’ll throw us a bone.

    How many Presidents, after-all, have pardoned people at the end of their terms… while thousands more have died on death row during their tenure… simply for the fact that they can — and there’s not a damn thing anybody can do about it?

    Maybe Bush isn’t such a cunt, after-all… maybe he’s just pandering to the money… and alienating us in the process… I don’t rightfully give a damn which it is, at this point. The man is out of office… in a matter of days — and he is lacking any extreme or significant power, at this point. I’m simply happy that he signed the bill… because while it’s crap, and while it isn’t much more than what we had the day before he signed it — it’s a step in the right direction… and a step in the right direction is better than an entire nation standing still, pretending we don’t exist.

  • gkruz

    @Alan down in Florida: Mixed signals? Unlike Barack Obama, right?

  • Chad

    One twilight law, that inadvertently works to the advantage of gays, after dozens of anti-gay laws that identify gays by name, does NOT suggest that W is secretly neutral or pro-gay.

    W will not “throw the gays a bone” (ugh) because he simply doesn’t have to. Nor is he a good man who would do so anyway.

    Bush signed this bill because it makes him or his loyal friends money somewhere along the line, and Jesus told him that this is his purpose on Earth.

    Oh yes, Boosh is a coont.

  • rick p

    well its official, a republican president has done more for gays than any democrat president has…maybe in four years we don’t give our vote for free.

  • Mister C

    To Ms Michael (Log Cabin Queen) W…Who said
    :You brainwashed idiots should’ve voted McCain/Palin:

    Really you braintwisted faggot. I’m African American and those crowds at those rallies screamed all types of racial epithets. And you think I should have vote McInsane/Stalin?

    HA That’s just like me joining the LCR and how many Blacks are in that group???????*crickets,and more crickets*

    The same as I think you should eat a piece of Left wing meat.

  • michael

    I have been told by 2 different psych. professors from different schools, in different parts of the world something I have never forgotten. Both said that when any person presents themselves strongly in a certain way, you can rest assured they are the opposite of what they want you to think they are. I have watched this over and over again and found it to be true. So maybe Bush was not quite the asshole he presented himself to be and well, I voted for him, but I think that America and the world is in for a huge lesson with Obama. He is going to make fools out of all of us and not just gays. Just sit back and watch his mask come off. People, he is not the Messiah, maybe the anti-Christ, but not the Messiah.

  • BrianPrince


    I don’t know that I would necessarily give much credence to any scientist who says that there’s one rule, that works — every time, without fault.

    In saying that two psychologists, from two different parts of the world… have said that when people present themselves strongly one way, they’re the opposite… is a little… absurd, to me.

    That’d mean… I’m straight. And… as much as my momma would like to believe it, I’m definitely gay (I’m a top… which is closer to being straight than a bottom), but when ya get down to the nitty gritty, it’s still a poop-shoot I’m sticking it in, and that poop-shoot is still attached to somebody who happens to have an X chromosome AND a Y chromosome.

    If your psychologists’ statements are true… I’ll come back and post in the morning, because I’m finding a cute, straight, Latino pool boy for some fun tonight.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    Poop-chute, Brian, poop-chute.

    A poop-shoot might be a little painful, don’t you think?

    I fully agree with you, Brian. Michael’s assertion doesn’t ring true to me either. In some instance, perhaps, but not in all.

    Michael’s comment reminded me of a cut little story based on the old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

    Everyone said it couldn’t be done.
    Yet, everyone tried to do it.
    And when none of them could do it,
    everyone said, you see,
    I told you it couldn’t be done.

    And from that moment on in time
    no one ever again even hinted,
    much less suggested, that it could be done
    and so no one ever tried again to do it.

    Except one little, old deaf man,
    living on the other side of the planet,
    in a dark cave with no lights,
    the opening of which
    barred by a pile of rocks.

    He hadn’t heard that it couldn’t be done,
    you see, and saw no reason not to try doing it.
    So he best efforts into doing it.
    He couldn’t do it either!

  • Charles J. Mueller

    Dang…see what happens when you post at 4:00 o’clock in the morning?

    The third line in the last paragraph should read…

    “So he put his best efforts into doing it.”

  • michael

    First of all I said “when a person presents themselves strongly”
    meaning they make a strong effort to present themselves in a certain way. Like they are trying to convince you. Not someone who is acting naturally. If you open your eyes and become aware of people you can see this everywhere, ministers screaming moraility from the pulpit only to found molesting children or having an affair with church secretary. Name a politician that does not spend half his career trying to fabric an imaged based on what he or she wants you to perceive them as versus what they really are. People who are excessively “nice”, but if your a fly on the wall in their homes you will see that they are huge fucktards. But just as there were those who tried to tell everyone who George Bush was really about and were dismissed as unpatriotic and crazy, so the same will hold for Mr. Obama. At least George was more upfront and honest about what he was about.
    Obama includes gay folks in his flowery speeches then turns around elevates people to places of honour who make it part of their lifes work to teach the world that we are pedophiles and perverts. Liberals in the U.S. are just as blind as conservatives, the same bullshit just a different colour.

  • Mister C

    Bet Michael wouldn’t have said that if it was The Clinton’s.

    What I am still not understanding is this. OKAY, None of us are happy with Obama’s selection of Warren. I’m more than sure that Queerty’s reader are more caucasian than any other race and that’s fine too.

    What’s not fine is the castigating of this Man before he even takes office and you have not seen REAL results yet. And some would think I’m strange for thinking that RACE is subliminally entering your mind when you get angry about Obama?

    BULLSHIT….BULLSHIT of course it is.

    Once you find a candidate that will risk it all for US and have the other side which is larger turn against then and AND THEY STIL WIN?????

    Call me…Until then quiet down,learn the strategic game and lets move forward. Civil rights were not won in a day, or year. It took time for EVERYTHING to come into play. Let us work towards our pie in the sky and always remember to be anxious for nothing but to always have patience while we fight our cause! We all will not see everything. But we’re paving the way so someone else will not have to suffer as such!

    Happy New Year All!

  • Mister C

    It’s early here in AZ….excuse the typos

    I meant

    Once you find a candidate that will risk it all for US and have the other side which is larger turn against them and AND THEY STILL WIN?????

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @Mister C:

    Mister C, your points are well taken. It’s a fact that Mr. Obama could never have won the election had he been willing to risk all for us. We do need to understand that in politics as with all other pursuits in life, there is a game plan and those who know how to play the game, become the winners.

    As to being patient, however, that is where I part company with your thinking. We HAVE been patient…for far longer than anyone could rightly as us to be patient. And, it is a sad fact of life, that our justified impatience is deplored and attacked by the very people who have been asked and expected to be patient for yet more decades before we see equality in this land of ours.

    I have been patient for 72 years and have still have not received my civil-rights as a taxpaying citizen. I am sick and tired of being treated like a second-class citizen and refuse to be told to STFD and STFU, by anyone.

    Are people like me wrong to expect (and demand) that we have them…now and not in a few thousand light years from now? Will you fault me for being tired of the rhetoric and unwilling to put up with it any longer? Must I constantly hear, (and accept) that there are other, more important things to worry about besides equality?

    And most insulting of all, must I constantly listen to people who think my demanding my rights makes me a selfish queer who only thinks about himself and not the needs of others?

    I don’t know about you, but my patience is worn thin!

  • Charles J. Mueller

    An while we are on the subject, I also want to say that I am sick to death of those homophobic gays (and y’all know who you are} who would trivialize human dignity, equality for all and civil-rights for every taxpaying American Citizen with lame excuses like, “we have more important things to worry about like the economy, energy, ecology issues, blah, blah, blah.”

    Yes, these issues are important too and no one is denying that. However, when we consider the thousands of federal governmental employees we have and how many billions of dollars it takes to support our system of government, I find it totally unacceptable if these people cannot walk and chew gum at the same time.

    But, like HRC, if the government did not have all these “issues” to deal with, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, then they really wouldn’t have any reason to report to work and we could do away with their jobs.

    Someone once said, “A government bureaucracy, once created, continues to exist for it’s own celebration long after the need for it has passed.”

    “nuff said.

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