Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) today fought to kill the Riggs Amendment, an unfair assault on the City of San Francisco for its wise adoption of the domestic partners law, a law which requires that companies with city contracts offer identical benefits to employees with domestic partners and to married workers. "The Riggs Amendment is an unprecedented attack on local decision making. San Francisco is the target of this ill-conceived, mean-spirited amendment. It is beneath the dignity of the House of Representatives to consider this legislation which is solely motivated by the Republican Party's homophobia, " Pelosi said.
Bay Area Rep. Frank Riggs (R-CA) introduced the amendment to the VA-HUD Appropriations bill. It would nullify Section 12B2(b) of the San Francisco Administrative Code for purposes of spending any funds in the VA-HUD bill. In effect, the Riggs Amendment demands that in allocating at least $65 million in city-administered HUD funds for housing, community development, lead paint abatement, and other priorities, the City must violate its own principles.
The effects of San Francisco's ordinance have been positive. It has not led to any significant increase in costs to the City's contracting activities and it has increased the number of people covered by medical insurance through an employer.
Mayor Willie L. Brown, The United States Conference of Mayors, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights have all voiced their opposition to this attack on local authority.
The Riggs Amendment passed in the House by a vote of 214-212.
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