Magazine article Personnel Journal

Same-Sex Marriage Bill and Anti-Discrimination Bill Create HR Controversy

Magazine article Personnel Journal

Same-Sex Marriage Bill and Anti-Discrimination Bill Create HR Controversy

Article excerpt

THE U.S. SENATE PASSED (BY AN 85 TO 14 vote) the so-called "Defense of Marriage Act" or DOMA, as it's being referred to by those familiar with the legislation. The action, which the Senate passed on September 11, would formally define marriage in federal law for the first time ever as a "union between one man and one woman." The bill also allows states to ignore same-sex marriages performed in other states. The legislation's provisions barring federal recognition of samesex couples would preclude spousal benefits that are distributed by a range of government programs such as Social Security and veterans services.

The measure (at press time) was still awaiting President Bill Clinton's signature, which he already had signaled his intention to give when it reached his desk.

In a separate vote, the Senate also rejected-50 to 49--other legislation to outlaw employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. The bill, called the "Employment Non-discrimination Act" (ENDA) or S 2056, would bar employment discrimination based on sexual orientation. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) at one point planned to allow the bill to ride as an amendment to the same-sex marriage bill. …

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