Benefits For Same-Sex Partners Are Expanding
Professor Jane Schacter talked to Washington Post reporter Ashley Surdin who filed this report about some gains in the area of same-sex partner benefits:
With public attention focused largely on battles over whether gay couples should be able to marry, a less-noticed movement to grant health and other benefits to same-sex partners is gaining significant ground across the country in courtrooms, in legislatures and at the ballot box.
In New York last week, the state's highest court upheld policies granting spousal benefits to some gay public employees who were married in another state or country.
In Washington state, voters recently endorsed an "everything but marriage" bill that expands domestic partnership rights to lesbians, gays and unmarried elderly couples.
"The picture on benefits and domestic partnerships has moved quite dramatically for same-sex couples, but marriage is the issue that has gotten all the attention and energy, so some of that progress has been eclipsed," said Jane Schacter, a law professor at Stanford University. "Certainly, there has been movement on marriage as well, but nothing as much as domestic partnerships."