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Lawmakers say US House poised to pass trio of gay-friendly bills

Sunday, December 6, 2009
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Two of Congress’s three openly gay members said Saturday that the U.S. House is poised to pass a trio of gay-friendly bills, reports the AP.

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. The bill would provide for health coverage for same-sex partners of gay federal workers.

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would ban workplace bias based on sexual orientation and gender discrimination, is expected to reach the floor early in 2010, according to Baldwin and Polis.

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 “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” 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.

Office of Personnel Management director John Berry, the Obama administration’s highest ranking gay appointee, told the conference that the president strongly supports the trio of gay rights measures.

More from the Associated Press.

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