July 23, 2012
By Scottie Thomaston
On Friday, Metro Weekly reported on a new rule proposal published by the Office of Personnel Management that would allow the extension of health care benefits to the children of federal employees who are gay.
They report that:
The proposal was published by the Office of Personnel Management and would allow federal employees’ children up to the age of 26 to receive federal health benefits regardless of their legal relationship to the covered parent. The new rule would also include dental and vision insurance.
The public comment period for the rule ends on September 18, 2012.
This action is occurring alongside two other related ones: Golinski v. OPM challenging Section 3 of DOMA (along with all of the other challenges to the law) and the introduction of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act. The bill itself would not resolve all the problems that households led by gay and lesbian couples are facing, which explains the multiple tracks. If DOMA were declared unconstitutional or repealed by Congress and replaced with the Respect for Marriage Act, it would ease the burdens faced by these families greatly.
The rule change and the bill go a long way toward blunting the harsh effects of DOMA, though. And with Section 3 challenges headed to the Supreme Court this term, we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of DOMA.