Saturday, May 26, 2007

Maine Adds "Domestic Partner" Benefits to Law

Maine has come up with a weird definition of "domestic partner" to ensure that homosexual couples can share employment benefits. Questions about the definition: How will gay couples (and others) prove that one of them is the "sole partner of the employee and expects to remain so"? Siblings are excluded from being considered domestic partners, but apparently not other relatives. What about just plain roommates -- two could be "domestic partners", but not three? From the Christian Civic League of Maine:

Homosexual Welfare Bill Awaits Governor's Signature
by Mike Hein, Christian Civic League of Maine
May 25, 2007

After four months of intense lobbying, the Maine Legislature voted overwhelmingly in favor of a bill on May 23 and 24 that will extend significant employment benefits to homosexuals. The bill, LD 375 "An Act To Amend the Family Medical Leave Laws," was sponsored by Senator Dennis Damon of Hancock County , and co-sponsored by nine other homosexual-friendly legislators.

The bill has been this session's legislative priority for the Maine homosexual lobby, led by homosexual lobbying groups EqualityMaine, the Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD), the Maine Women's Lobby, and the Maine Civil Liberties Union. All four groups submitted written public testimony at the bill's February 28 public hearing before the Labor Committee.

The bill will add a formal definition of "domestic partner" to the Maine state statutes. "Domestic partner" is clearly defined in the bill as a partner of an employee who "...has been legally domiciled with the employee for at least 12 months, is not legally married to or legally separated from another individual, is the sole partner of the employee and expects to remain so, is not a sibling of the employee, and is jointly responsible with the employee for each other's common welfare as evidenced by joint living arrangements, joint financial arrangements or joint ownership of real or personal property."

If homosexual couples meet the 'domestic partner' definition requirements, they will be granted up to ten weeks of leave from their employment under Maine 's current Family Medical Leave laws.