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June 16, 2009

Comments

elpolacko

talk about throwing (some of)us a bone ! .. ya think this has anything to do with barack's big p.r. push for his healthcare plan?
naaahh... he wouldn't just use us like that, would he ?

Robbie

Using the community would denote some kind of forethought on the part of the administration. I don't give them even that much credit.

This seems like back-pedalling without realizing there's a tar pit behind them. They're about to get deep in it.

Jamie

Benefits but no health insurance coverage? He can bit my ass.

North Dallas Thirty

This is such complete baloney.

First off, even though DOMA does prevent the Federal government from recognizing legal instruments that approximate marriage for purposes of benefits, there's ample case law that shows there is no problem with adding domestic partners, same-sex or opposite-sex, to health plans as long as they don't get preferential tax treatment AND no evidence of legal ceremony is required to do it. That's how private companies (and even state governments) have been able to offer DP benefits even with DOMA and state constitutional amendments.

Second off, ever since the Pension Protection Act, it has been perfectly legal to designate whoever you like as your tax-advantaged beneficiary, provided your pension plan is updated to allow it, regardless of spousal status.

In short, Obama is doing next to nothing and trying to blame it on the law -- when the law says and limits nothing of the sort. What that means is that John Berry is either a complete idiot who has no understanding of HR-related laws and benefits in this country, or is deliberately going along with this to give cover for Obama.

I could believe both.

And if you needed an answer as to why Obama did this little, here it is; the bootlickers are already making nicey nice.


Robbie

Precisely. States and private companies have worked around various forms of local DOMAs for years to provide health and retirement benefits. The idea the federal government cannot do it if it cared to is absurd.

This is just one more signal from the administration that they're not willing to spend one iota of political capital on gay issues.

Doug

I wouldn't doubt if there's something else also entering into his political calculus here. He's trying to push through a comprehensive health care plan. Perhaps some (clueless) advisor or other suggested to him that dropping health benefits from this plan would bring the entire gay community behind the health care plan -- i.e., as if we would think, "Oh no! Now the only way for us to get health benefits is for the federal government to give them to everybody!"

The sad thing is, I'm not 100% convinced that this won't be exactly what happens.

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The sad thing is, I'm not 100% convinced that this won't be exactly what happens.

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