On Wednesday July 20, Congress will be reconsidering DOMA (the "Defense of Marriage Act," one of Bill Clinton's most disastrous "third-way" compromises) for the first time since it was enactted 15 years ago. The Human Rights Campaign asked for comments from those whom this inhumane law affects directly. Here's what I said:
I am a 65-year-old federal retiree in a same-sex domestic partnership of 32 years. Because of DOMA, my partner is not eligible for any survivor benefits from me, nor can I add him to my health insurance. In order to ensure that he is looked after if I should die first, I have been forced by this situation to take out a life insurance policy. As to health benefits: He has a chronic health issue which we must cover in the individual insurance market at exorbitant rates; in fact, as I write, he is in severe pain which we cannot treat because on the individual market he cannot get coverage for the condition for a year. Members of congress: I am on the exact same FEHBP as you; imagine yourselves in this ridiculous position to know my frustration. The federal government is shooting itself in the foot with this outdated law, discouraging talented potential civil servants from applying for employment because they happen to be gay and can get humane treatment for their family members in the private sector. For heaven's sake drag yourselves into the 21st century.