Never thought I’d see the word bipartisan used in the same sentence as same-sex partners.
WASHINGTON — A bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate is introducing legislation that would ensure that same-sex partners of federal employees — even those in domestic partnerships or civil unions — will receive the same benefits offered to heterosexual spouses.
The Senate version of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act is cosponsored by Sens. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Baldwin is the first openly gay lawmaker elected to the Senate, and Collins is one of the few Republicans in Congress who supports legislation barring workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals. The House version of the legislation is cosponsored by Reps. Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) and Gerry Connolly (D-Va.). Ros-Lehtinen is a vocal advocate in her party for marriage equality.
The bipartisan measure would provide same-sex domestic partners of federal employees benefits open to heterosexual married couples, no matter what state they live in or whether they are able to be legally married in their home state.