The Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee passed the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act yesterday. Partners of federal employees are now one step closer to getting the same benefits offered to spouses of heterosexual employees. These benefits include federal health insurance; retirement and disability benefits; family, medical and emergency leave; and compensation for work injuries. The bill would also ensure that employees' same-sex domestic partners are subject to the same ethics regulations that currently govern federal employees' opposite-sex spouses.
White House spokesman Shin Inouye emailed a statement to us this morning saying, "The President is pleased with yesterday's progress on the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, and urges Congress to move swiftly to pass this crucial legislation. He hopes to see this bill come to his desk for his signature next year."
I wonder if the bill would have any effect on regular acts of discrimination faced by Congressional spouses. For example, Rep Jared Polis's partner was recently made to jump through hoops to be able to travel with the Congressman to Seattle. Who caused the problems? The Department of Defense who blamed Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's office.