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Transgender Rights Update 7/2/14

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2014

Transgender FlagWe had a number of transgender rights stories come across the wires today – enjoy!

USA: President Obama says he will sign an executive order to ban workplace discrimination against federal employees based on their gender identity. full story

USA: At the same time, Labor Department Secretary Ton Perez announced that non-discrimination protections will be extended to transgender employees.full story

USA, California: A new law that took effect yesterday will make it easier for transgender Californians to change their name and gender on state documents. full story

USA, Texas: A transgender woman in Austin was turned away from a lingerie store. full story

USA: Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act Introduced

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

US CongressA bill that would provide benefits to partners of gay and lesbian federal employees, regardless of marital status, has been introduced in the US legislature.

GayWebSource.com reports:

While the Supreme Court’s decision striking down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act and guidance from the Office of Personnel Management have made clear that federal workers’ same-sex spouses are now eligible for benefits, there are still federal employees who cannot access marriage and thus continue to be denied critical health, retirement and other benefits for their families. In an effort to remedy that continued inequality, today the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act (DPBO) of 2013 was introduced in the U.S. House and Senate. The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Susan Collins (R-ME) and in the House by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-WI), Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Richard Hanna (R-NY) would provide benefits for same-sex domestic partners of federal civilian employees on the same basis as spousal benefits. These benefits would include participation in applicable retirement programs, life and health insurance benefits, and family and medical leave.

What do you think? While definitely an improvement in the short run for these couples, is this a good or bad thing in terms of long-term strategy for full marriage equality?

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US: Bill Reintroduced to Provide Domestic Partner Benefits to Federal Employees

Friday, November 18th, 2011

US Domestic Partner BenefitsToday, Sens. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) introduced the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2011, a bill that would provide Federal benefits to same sex domestic partners of Federal employees.

Under the measure, same-sex domestic partners of federal employees living together in a committed relationship “would be eligible for health benefits, long-term care, Family and Medical Leave, and federal retirement benefits, among others.”

The Act would help the more than 30,000 employees with same-sex partners, allow the Federal government to compete with the many private companies that already offer benefits, and increase costs by “only 0.4 percent of total health care expenditures, a tiny fraction that is consistent with the experience of thousands of private employers,” one study found.

Full Story from Think Progress

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US: Expanded Benefits for Same Sex Partners of Federal Employees

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

In what amounts to a second bite at the apple, President Obama finalized a policy he announced last year at Pride Month, expanding benefits for same-sex partners of federal government employees.

Under the Presidential memorandum, he has added family assistance services, hardship transfers and relocation expenses to the roster of allowable benefits. He also set up a process whereby any new benefits conferred on heterosexual couples in government agencies would be made “available on equal terms” to same-sex couples, “to the extent permitted by law.”

This is where we get into a gray area, because the Defense of Marriage Act and other statutes limit the kind of benefits that can be offered by the federal government in conflict with state laws.

Full Story from Firedoglake

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To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

US: Partners of Gay/Lesbian Federal Employees Eligible for Long-Term Health Care Insurance July 1st

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

The same-sex partners of gay and lesbian federal workers can start applying for long-term health-care insurance on July 1st according to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM).

This new option will not apply to male and female domestic partners. According to the notice in the Federal Register, this will not apply to opposite sex domestic partners because “they may obtain eligibility to apply for Federal long term care insurance through marriage, an option not currently available to same-sex domestic partners.”

Here are the requirements as listed by OPM:

Eligible individuals must provide documentation that they meet the definition of “domestic partnership.”

Full Story from FedSmith

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To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

Senate to Vote on Federal Partner Benefits Bill Within Weeks, Lieberman Says

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Aides to Senator Joseph Lieberman, a Connecticut independent, told the Washington Post Wednesday that the Senate could vote on a bill that would extend some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees “within weeks.”

Lieberman is the lead sponsor of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009 (DPBO) in the Senate. The House version is being backed by openly lesbian Wisconsin Representative Tammy Baldwin. The legislation cleared key committees on both sides of Congress late last year.

Under the bill, the spouses of gay and lesbian federal employees would be eligible for certain benefits currently barred by the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that prohibits federal agencies from recognizing gay unions. DPBO would carve out an exception to the law.

Full Story from On Top Magazine

Click here for gay marriage resources.

To subscribe to this blog, use the rss feed on the right, or use the form at right to join our email list. You can also email us at info@purpleunions.com. Or find us on Facebook – just search for Gay Marriage Watch (you’ll see our b/w wedding pic overlooking the Ferry Building and Bay Bridge in SF). We’re also tweeting daily at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.