Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Debate on Domestic Partnership Expected in January

The first big controversy of the 2008 session of the General Assembly could play out one day after it opens.

At 2 p.m. Jan..10, the joint House-Senate committee that oversees government regulations will hold a hearing on a proposed regulation defining domestic partnerships in state law. The debate is likely to be the opening volley in a battle between advocates and opponents of same-sex marriage.

The regulation was released this month by the Maryland Insurance Administration to comply with a new law on health insurance coverage that takes effect Jan..1. The law requires insurance companies to offer benefits to domestic partners if their employers ask for it.

Missing was a definition of domestic partner. The proposed regulation says such couples can be straight or gay and must be living together and in a "committed relationship of mutual interdependence" for at least six consecutive months. The couple can verify their union with three documents, choosing from among other items a will, a joint bank account and a driver's license listing a common address.

Some Republicans say that's much too generous a definition and a move by Democrats in Annapolis to lay the groundwork to legalize same-sex marriage in the upcoming session. Advocates plan to push such a bill after losing their bid in the state's highest court this fall, and opponents plan to fight back with an amendment to the state constitution defining marriage as being between a man and a woman.

The hearing before the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review should be well attended.

By Anne Bartlett  |  December 24, 2007; 8:58 AM ET
Categories:  Lisa Rein  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Leggett Follows Up On 911 Failure In MoCo
Next: Capital Punishment at the State Capitol

No comments have been posted to this entry.

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company