HRC Blog

HRC Continues to Build Support for the Fair Treatment of Federal Employees

Post submitted by Brian Moulton, Former HRC Legal Director

While the Obama administration has taken many steps to improve the lives of LGBT people, including by extending certain benefits –like sick leave and long-term care insurance— to the partners of federal employees, those civil servants still do not receive equal pay for equal work.  This is because federal law governing health insurance and retirement benefits for federal workers, together with the discriminatory Defense of Marriage Act, prohibits the administration from granting full benefits to those employees’ same-sex domestic partners and spouses.  HRC has worked for many years urging Congress to address this problem, through legislation called the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act (DPBO).  DPBO was reintroduced in the House and Senate in November by Representatives Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME). 

HRC continues to build support for this legislation, most recently by gathering together a broad group of 35 LGBT, religious, labor, women’s and civil rights organizations on a letter in support of its passage including:  American Federation of Government Employees, AFL-CIO, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, National Center for Transgender Equality, National Council of Women’s Organizations, National Education Association, National Partnership for Women and Families, National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU) and the Union for Reform Judaism (URJ).  We hope this letter will help demonstrate to Congress the breadth of support and urgent need for this important legislation. Read the letters to the House and Senate.     

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