Log Cabin Republicans Call on Senate Democrats to Allow Vote on Pro-Gay Legislation

Democrat Senator Blocking Tax Fairness Bill

January 25, 2007 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Blogger Tumblr

(Washington, DC) – Log Cabin calls on Senate Democrat leaders to allow a vote on a pro-gay amendment to the Fair Minimum Wage Act. GOP Senator Gordon Smith's amendment would ease the tax burden for domestic partner benefits. The Domestic Partner Health Benefits Equity Act would correct an unfair provision in the tax code that blocks self-employed people from deducting their domestic partner's health insurance premium costs.

"I am for cutting taxes and this amendment does just that," said Senator Smith (R-OR). "Nontraditional families are part of the fabric of our society and deserve fair treatment. The tax code weighs heavily on small business owners as it is, we shouldn't increase the burden by leaving this inequity on the books."

Senator Smith was prevented from offering his amendment during a recent Finance Committee hearing because Democrat Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) threatened to rule it out of order. Now Smith has introduced his amendment to the entire Senate, but Baucus is still threatening to use arcane Senate rules to stop the amendment.

"Democrat leaders should allow a vote on this important amendment. LGBT Democrats gave a lot of money and support to their Party last November," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon . "Now Senate Democrats better not block the first piece of pro-gay legislation in the 110th Congress. Majority Leader Harry Reid should stop Senator Baucus from obstructing this amendment and allow a vote by the full Senate."

Current law allows small business owners, independent contractors, and consultants to deduct the total cost of their health insurance premiums. They also can deduct the premiums for their spouse and children, but not domestic partners. Smith's bill would correct that inequity. "This common sense legislation will provide basic fairness for hard working gay and lesbian families," said Sammon. "We applaud Senator Smith for leading the fight to provide tax fairness for all Americans."