[Press release: D.C. enacts domestic partner law following last-minute attack by religious leaders] Page: 1 of 2
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NATIONAL GAY & L ESBIAN TASK FOR CE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Ivy Young
D.C. ENACTS DOMESTIC PARTNER LAW
FOLLOWING LAST-MINUTE ATTACK BY RELIGIOUS LEADERS
Washington, D.C., April 16, 1992... .The District of Columbia City
Council overwhelmingly passed a local domestic partnership
ordinance April 7 in a 10-to-one vote with two abstentions.
However, just prior to the vote, local religious leaders--
organized by Traditional Values Coalition head Lou Sheldon--
launched a vicious last-minute attack against the bill.
The D.C. Health Benefits Expansion Act of 1992 extends
health benefits coverage to the domestic partners of city
employees; creates a city-wide registry for domestic partners;
and extends hospital and health facility visitation rights to
domestic partners. D.C. joins seven cities around the country
which have a city-wide partner registry and seven which extend
health benefits to domestic partners.
But, just before the second and final vote on the
legislation by the City Council, local ministers, the Catholic
Church, and the California-based Traditional Values Coalition
initiated an aggressive campaign against the bill, condemning
domestic partnership as an attack on the "traditional" family.
Some Council members wavered under pressure from the conservative
religious leaders. NGLTF launched a new round of lobbying and
educating on the bill, sending extensive information and letters
of support to all Council members.
The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) is a member
of the D.C. Domestic Partner Coalition, which spearheaded the
effort to pass the current legislation. The Coalition includes
the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance, the D.C. Coalition of
Black Lesbians and Gay Men, the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club,
and Gay and Lesbian Attorneys of Washington.
During the campaign to pass the bill, NGLTF testified in
favor of extending benefits to-domestic partners; wrote letters
of support for the legislation and provided background
information to members of City Council; offered advice regarding
the language of the current legislation; and, as an active member
of the Coalition, offered information about domestic partnership
ordinances and organizing around the country. NGLTF also urged
the creation of a Family Diversity Task Force to examine non-
traditional families beyond the scope of domestic partners. And
NGLTF helped turn back the religious leaders' attack on the bill.
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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (U.S.). [Press release: D.C. enacts domestic partner law following last-minute attack by religious leaders], text, April 16, 1992; (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc916747/m1/1/: accessed February 16, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.