Running into ‘a DOMA problem’ in health care reform

washingtonblade.com
November 5, 2009
As gay rights supporters praise the House’s recently unveiled health care bill for its LGBT and HIV/AIDS provisions, some acknowledge that the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) could restrict benefits from flowing to LGBT people, depending on how the administration interprets the statute. [Link]

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Garden State Equality - TV Commercial “Marsha and Louise”

Garden State Equality
November 3, 2009
Garden State Equality releases a TV commercial in support of marriage equality depicting a lesbian couple who struggled to take care of their special needs children because they lacked adequate health insurance protections under N.J.'s civil unions law. [Link]

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U.S. House to Act on Domestic Partnership

The Hill
November 5, 2009
Rep. Tammy Baldwin’s (D-Wis.) bill that that would provide benefits to domestic partners of federal employees will soon be marked up by a House committee and could hit the floor by the end of 2009. Under current law, same-sex couples working at the federal level are ineligible to receive the same healthcare, retirement and family leave benefits afforded to their married counterparts. [Link]

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Montgomery Council Throws Support Behind Equal Benefits Law

News8.net (Rockville, MD)
November 3, 2009
The Montgomery County Council has introduced the Equal Benefits Bill, which would give contractors and subcontractors working for the county who are in a union with a partner of the same sex the same benefits as county employees who are in the same type of union. [Link]

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UAB Offers Health Coverage to Same-Sex Partners

The Birmingham News
October 22, 2009
The University of Alabama at Birmingham will extend health insurance benefits to partners and children of gay employees beginning Jan. 1, in a move officials said was designed in part to help it compete with top medical schools when recruiting faculty. [Link]

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Top NY State Court Hears Cases on Marriage Equality

The New York Times
October 14, 2009
New York's highest court on Tuesday heard arguments in two cases led by the anti-gay ADF -- one that challenges a 2007 policy extending health insurance to spouses of gay government employees married in other jurisdictions; and another that seeks to overturn a 2006 Westchester County administrative order directing officials to recognize unions of gay couples performed elsewhere. [Link]

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Same-Sex Couples Who Lose Jobs Face Extra Sting

Orlando Sentinel
September 14, 2009
Under DOMA, the federal government does not honor unions between same-sex couples, so the same-sex partners of those who lose their jobs are excluded from the federal COBRA program that allows continuation of health-care benefits. [Link]

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Legislating Love: How the Government Can Encourage Private Safety Nets

The New York Times
July 20, 2009
If we believe that marriage represents a valuable form of commitment we should support gay and lesbian couples who desire access to it. Several studies published by the Williams Institute at the University of California, Los Angeles, demonstrate the significant economic impact of marriages of same-sex couples on family benefits and health insurance coverage. [Link]

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Designated beneficiary rules grant unmarried pairs in Colorado decision-making power

The Denver Post
July 1, 2009
In April, Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed a bill that gives unmarried couples the right to enter into "designated beneficiary agreements," which guarantee many of the rights usually reserved for husbands and wives. The law goes into effect today. These rights apply to both opposite sex and same sex couples. Colorado and Hawaii are the only states that offer these types of agreements. Colorado's law is based on Hawaii's "reciprocal beneficiaries" program, which began in 1997. The main difference is that in Colorado, one person can designate another as a beneficiary even if that designation is not reciprocated. Beyond the added legal security, the law is seen as an important step toward bringing same-sex couples equal rights. [Link]

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Video Log: Kate Clinton

KateClinton.com
June 18, 2009
Comedian Kate Clinton is pissed! Check out her weekly Vlog talking about DOMA, the federal benefits extension memorandum, and other current events below:



[Link]

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