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White House Announces Further Benefits for Same-Sex Partners of Federal Employees PDF Print E-mail
Jun 03, 2010 at 11:08 AM

Welcomed changes are also glaring reminders of lack of equality

WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign – the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization – commended the announcement by the White House that federal agencies will provide additional benefits to same-sex couples to the extent allowed under current statutory restrictions. Some of the benefits announced today were part of HRC’s Blueprint for Positive Change, a document recommending policy changes that could be made by the administration to better the lives of LGBT people. More at: http://www.hrc.org/laws_and_elections/11699.htm.

“All employees should be treated equally and without discrimination, whether they are straight or LGBT and this is certainly a positive step in that direction,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “The limitations of these new benefits however serve as a glaring reminder that the Defense of Marriage Act ultimately stands in the way of providing true equality to LGBT Americans.”

The so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prevents the federal government from recognizing and extending benefits to lawfully married same-sex couples. As a result, same-sex partners of federal employees are denied important benefits such as health insurance and retirement plans. The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, a bill currently before Congress, would extend these basic protections to federal employees with a same-sex partner.

“We welcome the President’s renewed call to pass the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act and call on Congress to pass it swiftly,” said Solmonese. “When a majority of the Fortune 500 offer equal benefits, it should be a no-brainer that the federal government catch up.”

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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