Golden State Lawmakers to Consider Domestic Partner Benefits Extension

August 19, 2005 ( - California lawmakers are scheduled to vote on legislation that would allow hundreds of retired state workers to take advantage of the state's Domestic Partnership Law.

The measure, which would affect pensions, health insurance and state defined contribution plans, passed its last hurdle Wednesday when it was approved by the General Assembly Appropriations Committee in a 12-5 vote, according to a news report on The bill now moves to the full Assembly where a vote is expected in the next several weeks.

Under the Golden State’s partnership law, same-sex couples enjoy many of the same rights as California offers married couples, but it does not cover civil servants who retired prior to the law coming into effect on January 1, 2005 (See Golden State Law to Require Equal Benefits for Domestic Partners ). The bill would allow those pensioners and their partners or survivors to be included as well.

Meanwhile, a bill that would allow same-sex marriage in the state is sitting in limbo waiting for a vote by the full Senate, with only three weeks left in the current session of the legislature.

The issue of gay marriage is also being fought in California courts and the case is expected to go to the state Supreme Court within the next two years, unless a move to pass a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is successful.