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Civil unions law adds complexity to benefits plans in NH

New Hampshire Business Review
May 11, 2007
Although ERISA preempts state laws that relate to benefits, laws relating to insurance are not preempted. As a result, it is expected that the New Hampshire Insurance Department will rule that if an employer offers medical insurance coverage for married employees, the civil union law requires the employer to offer similar coverage to those in a civil union. But employers that provide self-insured medical, dental and other benefits to employees are not subject to the same state insurance laws because ERISA does cover them. Therefore, they will not be obligated to provide the same coverage to employees in civil unions as they do to married employees — although they could do so on a voluntary basis. [link]

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DC fourth grader inspires his moms with touching tribute

Washington Blade
May 10, 2006
A fourth grade student at Francis Scott Key Elementary in Northwest D.C., wrote an essay taking a stand for marriage equality and families. [Link]

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BLOG: It’s official: OR gov signs civil unions, anti-discrimination

Daily Kos
May 9, 2007
Hooray! It ain't marriage and it ain't portable, but if you're gay and one of you lives in Oregon, now at least you can get most of the same STATE rights and benefits as married couples routinely do...and that's a great thing. A long time coming, and another reminder that ELECTIONS MATTER. These bills died in 2005 despite a Dem-led Senate and Governor's mansion; the House was still led by the GOP. In 2006 control flipped and—like magic, NOT!—now suddenly they are law. [link]

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PODCAST: Minnesota Public Radio hosts marriage debate

Minnesota Public Radio
May 8, 2007
Richard Mohr, a professor of philosophy at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and author of a number of books on gay rights, most recently, "The Long Arc of Justice: Lesbian and Gay Marriage, Equality and Rights," squared off with Dwight Duncan, a professor at Southern New England School of Law in Massachusetts, who got his degree at the Vatican. Mohr does a great job of articulating what marriage is really about. Broadcast: Midday, 05/08/2007, 12:00 p.m [link]

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Gay couples learn that civil union isn’t the same as marriage

Concord Monitor
May 6, 2007
In the seven years since Vermont became the first state to create civil unions, couples have uncovered countless ways in which their unions differ from non-gay marriage. Because the federal government doesn't acknowledge civil unions, same-sex couples miss out on the federal benefits afforded non-gay married couples. And because many states have conflicting laws, a couple's rights can evaporate when they cross the state line. [link]

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13 resign from Nebraskan diversity team after lesbian speaker canceled

KETV
May 4, 2007
"Because my partner isn't male, my family doesn't count. It isn't a family," Gillespie said. "(I was going to speak) so they could be a little more aware when they're discussing their own issues with their own children, so we could stop perpetuating bias and prejudice." When the co-chairs of the committee were told by HHS administrators that Gillespie could not participate, they and 11 others resigned from the committee. [link]

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BLOG: Why it matters every day

Pam's House Blend
May 4, 2007
Just yesterday [my neighbor] came over to visit, "to have conversation," as she put it. She told me that that very first day that I walked by and waved had changed her life..So today she wanted to come to tell me the impact I had on her life. And, with tears streaming down her face, to apologize for her cruelty to me personally in voting for the Mississippi Marriage Amendment. Every day we make a difference. We must remember that. [link]

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In NH, civil unions would give ‘same rights’ as marriage

The Seacoast
May 2, 2007
Federal rights and protections recognized worldwide, however, are not provided to gay couples. Depending on the individual states' marriage and civil union laws, or lack thereof, other states are not obligated to recognize the same rights provided by New Hampshire. "It's pretty good," said Rep. Jim Splaine, D-Portsmouth, who co-sponsored House Bill 437. "But it's not marriage." [link]

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The significance of NY’s gov. submitting marriage bill

Advocate
May 1, 2007

"The fact that an intelligent, ambitious, strong politician like Eliot Spitzer feels he can do this and that he will be vindicated by history shows the momentum toward marriage equality," said Evan Wolfson. This is the first time any U.S. governor has authored and introduced a marriage-equality bill to a state legislature.
[Link]

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Spitzer vows to push NY marriage bill

Washington Blade
April 27, 2007

"Introducing the bill is a good, crucial, exciting first step," said Evan Wolfson. "But New York advocates, gay and non-gay, as well as the governor and legislators, have to really focus now on getting this bill through first the Assembly, then the Senate and to the governor's desk. And thats going to take a lot of work and even more leadership."
[Link]

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