Measured Against Reality

Sunday, November 04, 2007

RI Lawmakers Override Domestic Partner Veto

Via Ed Brayton, here's some good news from my home state: RI Lawmakers Override Domestic Partner Veto.

This law gives domestic partners (defined as people who have lived together more than a year and are financially interdependent) of state employees the same pension and retirement benefits that spouses would get. This sounds to me like it would also apply to cohabiting but not married heterosexual couples, so I guess everyone wins (although if I recall correctly RI was having pension problems for a while, maybe that's been worked out).

It was originally vetoed by the governor, who said the public did not want "unwarranted and unnecessary expansions of state employee benefits." Well, apparently the state legislators think they do, and overwhelmingly so if they were able to override the veto. It's also worth noting that the mayor of Providence is gay, although it has nothing to do with anything

Granted, this is just a small step. While RI doesn't bar same-sex marriage, it doesn't really allow it either. Given that Massachusetts does, and Mass is about an hour away from any point in RI, it's not that big of a problem to just get married there. It would still be nice to be one of the states that has the good sense to allow homosexual couples the same rights as heterosexual couples, but at least we're moving in the right direction.

I truly can't wait for the day when I can look back at this time and remember how idiotic and backward the prevailing attitude was, hopefully I'll live to see that day.

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