Full benefits for fed. employees in same-sex relationships could come next year

Via AP:

Two of Congress’s three openly gay members said Saturday that the U.S. House is poised to pass bills to provide health coverage for the same-sex partners of gay federal workers and to protect all gay and transgender employees from job discrimination.

Speaking to an international conference of gay politicians in San Francisco, U.S. Reps. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., and Jared Polis, D-Colo., said they expect a domestic partner benefits bill to come up for a vote by the end of the year and the employment bill to reach the floor early in 2010.

The lawmakers said they are also confident that the House will include in the annual military spending bill next year a provision to repeal the law that bans gays from serving in the U.S. military. All the measures face a harder time in the Senate following the death of longtime ally Sen. Edward Kennedy, but Baldwin and Polis said they remained optimistic Senate leaders would .

“I’m hopeful we will see those three pieces of legislation make it all the way, or damn close,” said Baldwin, who is sponsoring the federal worker domestic partner bill.

Obama granted federally employed same-sex couples all the benefits he could without new legislation earlier this year, and they turned out to be kind of lame.

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