Friday
January 27, 2006
SGN.org
Volume 34
Issue 04
 
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D.C. City Council seeks to expand equal protections for domestic partners
D.C. City Council seeks to expand equal protections for domestic partners
The Council passes the Domestic Partnership Equality Act of 2005 and the Health Care Benefits Expansion Amendment Act this week

WASHINGTON - Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese made the following statement after the District of Columbia City Council passed measures expanding benefits for registered domestic partners.

"This is a step forward but we're many steps away from D.C. couples having equal protections and responsibilities," said Solmonese. "Though some members of Congress may attempt to eliminate these protections, there is never an easy time or place to advance civil rights. We'll work with our allies in Washington and on Capitol Hill to ensure the benefits passed by the D.C. councilmembers of both parties take effect without congressional interference. We'll also continue our education in Congress and the nation about the need for marriage rights for same-sex couples."

The council passed two bills: the Domestic Partnership Equality Act of 2005, Bill 16-52, and the Health Care Benefits Expansion Amendment Act of 2005, Bill 16-129.

The bills would give domestic partners power of attorney, the ability to sue for negligence and immunity from testifying against one another and would create alimony-like obligations if a partnership is dissolved, among other protections.

The mayor is expected to sign the measures and the council must send the mayor-approved bills to Congress for a 30-day period. Following the 30 days, the measures will go into effect if Congress does not interfere.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.



An HRC press release

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