Tammy Baldwin Will Introduce Federal Employee Domestic Partnership Bill This Month

baldwin-tammy-2004The U.S. House of Representatives sole lesbian member will introduce a bill targeted at providing gay federal employees many of the same rights as their straight co-workers in a domestic partnership bill timed to join up with a matching Senate version of the bill sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman (CT-Independent) and Susan Collins (ME-R). U.S. Rep Tammy Baldwin intends to drop the Domestic Partner Benefits & Obligations Act bill this month.

The Washington Blade reports:

“The bill would grant the partners of gay federal employees the same benefits that are available to the spouses of straight employees. Versions of the bill considered in the last session of Congress would have granted benefits such as access to health benefits, life insurance and disability…

“I know that as the author of this measure,” Baldwin said, “we have to continue to educate for both marriage equality and equal employment benefits for domestic partners, and it’s important in that educational process to have the facts about how the current state of inequality affects those in same-sex partnerships.”

The Center for American Progress report, written by CAP associates Ben Furnas and Josh Rosenthal, draws attention to three Social Security benefits that are denied to gay couples, even if they are married in a state that recognizes same-sex unions.

The three benefits are: the spousal retirement benefit, which enables a spouse to receive one-half of their partner’s benefits upon retirement in lieu of their own benefits; the spousal survivor benefit, which entitles a spouse to take their partner’s entire benefit after their death; and the lump-sum death benefit, which entitles a surviving spouse to receive a $225 lump-sum payment to pay for funeral arrangements.”

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  • Sebbe

    Federally is really where we need to be focusing our efforts. Of course I say that sitting here comfortably in Massachusetts not married and not looking to be at the moment.

    As far as the $225 “lump-sum” payment for funeral arrangements, KEEP IT.

  • echelon

    Here is a clear example of why we need more LGBT representation in Congress. Kudos to Tammy!


  • flightoftheseabird

    I was on Capitol Hill this last weekend lobbying on behalf of HRC for this bill (along with 300 other people from around the country). Had good response with the people I met with and I heard a lot of good feedback from others as well. This bill, which only applies to Federal Civil employees is one of 6 bills on HRC’s legislative agenda this year. The other 5 are listed below:

    *Employment Non-Discrimination Act – A fully inclusive ENDA, including Transgenered. HRC will not support a non-inclusive bill.

    *Hate Crimes – Same bill as before, but now we have a president that will sign it

    *Early Treatment of HIV Act – Allows for people with HIV to receive assistance for treatment before they get very sick

    *Domestic Partner Benefits and Obligations Act – Gets rid of the tax inequalities currently in place for employers who offer Domestic Partner Benefits and employees who use them.

    *Repeal of DODT

    You should contact your House member and Senators and ask them to co-sponser all these bills when they get introduced over the next couple of months.

  • Dillon

    Gays need to repent. Seek Jesus Christ…..

    Romans 13:12-14 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife or jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to lusts.


  • quartercircle

    This has already been up in the house and no need to go there again indeed. For the sake of the country this is a no brainer.

  • sjkenney

    This is a nice quote, which I believe supports the Domestic Partner Benefits & Obligations Act. It recognizes and supports monogamous relationships, thus making no provision for sexual promiscuity for the flesh.

  • DeeCee

    How does this bill affect the “Defense of Marriage Act” which limits the federal definition of a marriage to “one man and one woman?”

    Also, there is no provision in Federal Benefits to allow benefits to unmarried couples.

  • Rich

    @Dillon: You really need to read the Bible more. Christ never speaks of Homosexuals in any of his teachings. The New Test. only have 4 references and the Old Test. needs to be viewed in the time inwhich it was written, how different people were viewed and to whom it was written to. IE: A wife was poperty and children were even lower.

    FYI: The bible NEVER mentions Lesbianism at all. If you know your Bibles, you will see that the WORD Homosexuality was never used until 1954ish when the APA made homosexuality a mental disorder/DZ in the DSM III. In the original lanugage of the Bible there is no word for homosexuality. The two most commonly translated words only can be correctly translated as a soft person.

    From a father of gay children who are very Christian and federal employees. They deserve the same rights as their mother and I.

  • Michelle

    Just one more step towards the complete destruction of our country and our freedoms. We’re all tired of having “alternative” lifestyles and values forced down our throats because the “five percenters” want to have it their way.

  • Jeff

    The moment this is passed, you will see lawsuits of non-married heterosexual “partners” filing lawsuits for sexual discrimination… and they should. What gives non-married homosexual partners the right to be able to collect benefits, while discriminating against non-married heterosexual partners? Just another example of selective discrimination of liberals… as long as its the liberals who are benefiting from the discrimination.

  • tony

    @Michelle: As Rich stated I guess you like to be property of someone. If you really wanted to be fair, we, Gay Americans, should not have to pay Federal or State tax due to being 2nd. class citizens. Hey that sounds good to me, then all the “Normal Folks” can pay everything and let me keep all my hard earned money.

  • Diane Golden

    My husband and I are government employees and so is my son. He has a partner and would like to include him on his benefits. The people that say it isn’t fair for the man-woman non-married not to get the right are INSANE. Do you think that is the same thing? The comment from the person that said they should not have to pay taxes since they are 2nd class citzens is so right. People out there, what you don’t get is that they do not pick their life…..their life is their life. It may be hard for some of you to understand because you don’t understand much. Also, I don’t know considering all the problems in this world why so many straight people care. I do UNDERSTAND why our beautiful gay people DO!

  • tony

    THANK YOU DIANE GOLDEN! What they really do not understand is if you are a man and a woman who are not married, in this country YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO MARRY. We do not, that is the difference. Why should my death benefits not go to my partner of 15 years who is another man, when if I had a female wife she would receive them. (No I am not calling my partner a she or wife)

    Christian Blessings to all that put me and my partner in HELL. Christ Died for ALL mankind not just a few.

  • flightoftheseabird

    Just remember that some of these bills are laying the groundwork for full marriage equality (probably through court action).

  • tony

    That would be fine, as long as everything was equal. That might put a stop to so many running off to the “next best thing” , if they had to pay for the BIG “D” everytime. :-) Also that would help with this issue, to see who really was together for the long haul and not just…well I think we all can fill that one in.

  • Diane Golden

    @tony:Tony, and do you think gay people would NOT want to pay for the divorce if they could get the rights of marriage? Believe me, they would, if you cared to ask any one you would know.

  • Diane Golden

    @tony: You are so welcome. God Bless you all. I believe he will welcome you and say come on in.

    Life, Liberty and the Persuit of Happiness for all!

  • tony

    @Diane Golden: I think you miss understood what I am saying. Many people who are gay are with on another for many years until A. they become ticked off at their partner for this ofr that B. Someone comes along and they think it will be better.

    For many of us, we are in it for the long haul and would have no problem paying for the divorce. I just know many couples which have been together for many years and one leaves for no real good reason, taking the other for a ride. If they had to pay, I think it would make them think twice.

    I am a firm believer that a partnership is for life, not just as long as it is good. Not to say you have to stay in an abusive relationship at all.

  • Diane Golden

    @tony: Thanks for explaining what you meant. You are so right and thanks for the response. You are very very normal about your relationship as anyone else is. That is why you should have the SAME RIGHTS!

  • Lil

    Just let all employees pick who they want to get their benefits. Gays want their lovers to get their benefits. Sisters and brothers should be able to give their benefits to either their sibling, child, mother, father, friend, lover or whosoever. Just give the benefits to whoever the employee wants it to go to. Let no restrictions be on who gets what.

  • millertime

    @Rich: Perhaps a little more time reading the bible yourself is in oreder. The words homosexuality, gay relations, lesbianism may not be used. However, it is clearly understood that “when a man lie with another man or an animal as he would a woman it is an abomination before the lord” is quite clear. Same with “when a woman would lie with another woman as she would a man it is an abomination before the lord”. Clearer now?


    Hetersexuals need to PRACTICE WHAT THEY PREACH!!! I do believe in Jesus & live a much holier life than many of you idiots who only MOUTH the gospel instead of living it!! ‘JUDGE NOT, LEST YE BE JUDGE’ for judgment is the provice of the lord!!


    @Dillon: Gays need to repent. Seek Jesus Christ…..

    Romans 13:12-14 The night is almost gone, and the day is near. Therefore let us lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife or jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to lusts.


  • Rich

    @millertime: Please provide the text you quote.

    Man shall not lie with man as he does with woman, is from the old test. in that time woman were considered poperty, so if you take it as it is written, a man shall not lower himself to the status of a woman (ie property) to another man.

    FYI I am a heterosexual minister.

  • Rich

    @JUDITH: You need to find another text, for I am the way…anyone who believes in me…knows me as their savior shall enter the Kingdon of my father.

    He died for everyones sins not just a few. Church is the hospital for the sinner not the locked room for the saved…go into the world and tell all the good news.

    You shall not judge one another but love each other as you love me. (this is not a quote, but rather the general message of our Lord and Savior)

  • Rich

    @Rich: Judith this was to Dillon, not to you sorry.

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