[T]he bill, H.R. 3962, uses the terms “family” and “dependent,” and advocates say the new Health Choices Commissioner — a position established in the legislation to oversee the insurance exchange — could interpret this language to mean someone’s opposite-sex spouse, but not a same-sex spouse.You see, my marriage doesn't count. And neither do Domestic Partnerships, right now. But thanks to DOMA, it's even possible that my legal marriage would be explicitly excluded, even if DPs are allowed. How's THAT for a cruel irony?
For example, the section describing the retiree reinsurance program — for which employer-based programs could submit claims to the government — says claims could be made on “employment based health benefits provided to a retiree or to the spouse, surviving spouse, or dependent of a retiree.”
Brian Moulton, the Human Rights Campaign’s chief legislative counsel, said the term “dependent” and “family” in the bill are “fairly open-ended” and “leave a lot of discretion to the new commissioner to define them.”
“Certainly, there is some use of the term ‘spouse’ in the bill in some of the provisions, and certainly DOMA would control that definition of spouse,” he said. “I think there are some areas where there’s a potential there won’t be access to some of the benefits.”
Meanwhile, Dick Durbin and others are doing a chicken little with respect to GLBT rights. THey are running hard from our community, and are shutting the door on a repeal to Don't Ask Don't Tell aka DADT.
You see, apparently a couple of Republican governors getting elected outweighs two new Dems in the House. NOw, remember, most people (even straight conservatives) support a repeal of DADT. Domestic Partnerships won in Washington State, and anti-discrimination protections in Kalamazoo. There were several gay people elected in contests around the country. But the beltway bias is that we are poison and even the Democratic National Committee wouldn't support us. Back under the bus, boys and girls.
As David Mixner writes,
How can we have any dignity, honor or pride in ourselves if we validate this continued process of ballot box terrorism? How can we stand tall next to each other if we explain away another's cowardliness? How can we allow people to dehumanize our relationships and our very integrity if we give people passes to sit out the battle for our very freedom? No longer are political timelines a reason for delay, no longer are incremental approaches acceptable and no longer can the political process expect us to be patient and wait our turn. Our turn came long ago and there will be no more waiting.
I'm still waiting for "fierce advocacy". ::crickets:: Meanwhile, my wallet will be open only for causes and candidates who share ALL my values.