November 18, 2008
Obama-Biden Plan = fed civil unions
Posted by: Chris
The Obama-Biden transition team has released its civil rights agenda on Change.gov, the official transition website, and the section on LGBT rights is expansive and includes federal civil unions -- the topic of my post earlier today:
Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
Other LGBT highlights of the Obama plan:
- Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: passing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity
- Fight Workplace Discrimination: passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity protections
- Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell
- Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage
- Expand Adoption Rights
- Promote AIDS Prevention: Obama promised in his first year in office a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies, expanding beyond abstinence-only sex ed and ending the federal ban on needle exchange
It's a powerful, far-reaching plan and is night and day with anything LGBT Americans have ever been promised by 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. (It's worth noting that two of the seven bullet points involve repealing anti-gay laws signed by the last "pro-gay" president.)
What's missing? There's no mention of the Uniting American Families Act, which extends equal immigration rights to gay Americans, but there's no need for UAFA is DOMA is half-repealed or a federal civil unions law is enacted.
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