Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Va. Gov. Kain Grants Domestic Partner Benefits to LGBT State Workers

Governor Tim Kaine of Virginia.Image via Wikipedia
With just weeks left to his term, Virginia Governor Tim Kaine has decided to extend insurance benefits to same-sex partners of state employees. According to an editorial in Monday's Roanoke Times:

Outgoing Gov. Tim Kaine has directed the state's human resources managers to begin implementing a system to cover qualified adults who live in the same home as an insured state worker, married or not. That could include a parent, an adult child, a roommate or a same-sex partner.

It is that last category that will no doubt cause the headaches and hand-wringing in weeks and perhaps months to come.

Kaine will leave office in just a few weeks, and his successor, governor-elect Bob McDonnell, is no friend to gays.

McDonnell, during his partial term as attorney general, consistently argued against gay rights in the commonwealth, including Kaine's previous executive order that the state not discriminate against gays in hiring.

The Roanoke Times goes on to say that extending the rights of LGBT state workers "smacks of political gamesmanship". In making this bold move, Kain, like Obama, is "throwing a bone" to the commonwealth's liberals, while leaving incoming governot-elect Bob McDonnell in an awkward position with his conservative base. It remains to be seen how McDonnell will react. Will he take away the health insurance coverage based on the constitutional ban on same-sex marriage?

The Virginia Marriage Amendment also bans any contractual arrangements which attempt to grant any of the same rights as marriage. I'll keep you posted.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please keep comments relevant and civil. Comments attacking other people will be deleted.

Subscribe in a reader