What we don’t get with HB 2007

So Federal Law governs state companies huh? I thought what this HB 2007, Domestic Partnerships, Civil Unions, whatever we call them was all about. State workers, and those in companies contracting with the city of Portland are already required to extend the same benefits to same-sex couples, so isn’t this all about private entities too? (Oh, except for those religious exemptions). According to this Oregonian article, private companies may not be at all bound by this law:

In the private sector, however, key benefits — health, dental, retirement and profit sharing plans — are regulated by the U.S. Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which trumps state anti-discrimination laws.

Under federal law, private employers can still choose to withhold benefits from same-sex partners, said Tom Kramer, an attorney with Bullard Smith Jernstedt Wilson in Portland.

The article goes on to say that “the legislation will expand benefits in ways that may not be immediately obvious” but that’s cold comfort. I really didn’t want to to a pessimistic stick-in-the-mud as everyone celebrated and planned their Honeymoons to Fire Island but I pretty much called it

Time to take this sh– bigger folks, to the National level. Er, well, when Bush is gone that is…

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