Lieberman Vows Federal Domestic Partner Benefits Bill

March 31, 2003 ( - Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Connecticut), a presidential hopeful, on Monday vowed to reintroduce a Senate bill granting the same benefits to domestic partners of federal workers as spouses currently receive.

The legislation would give domestic partners life and health insurance, retirement pay, and compensation for on-the-job injuries, according to an Associated Press report. Domestic partners could be gay or straight, as long as they file an affidavit saying they are living together in a committed, intimate relationship, but are not married.

In remarks to the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, Lieberman said the move is in keeping with traditional American moral values, which Lieberman said could help meet the “unredeemed promise” of the civil rights movement.”In Washington today, there are many who would suggest that faith leads only in one direction: the conservative political direction,” Lieberman said in the speech. “That is self-evidently not so. Conservative politicians have no monopoly on moral values or the absolutely correct political positions.”

The legislation was introduced last year by Senators Mark Dayton (D-Minnesota) and Paul Wellstone,(D-Minnesota). Wellstone died last fall in a plane crash. Lieberman, one of nine Democrats seeking the presidency, said he would pick up where Wellstone left off in pressing for the bill. The measure must be reintroduced in this session of Congress. It will be referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, where Lieberman is the ranking Democrat, but it still faces long odds in the Republican-controlled Congress.