Press Room

July 13, 2005

Category: Domestic Partners

HRC Urges Passage of Federal Domestic Partnership Bill

'Corporate America is leaving the federal government in its dust,' said HRC President Joe Solmonese.

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign lauded today's introduction of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act - a bill that would strengthen the federal government's ability as the nation's largest employer to remain competitive with corporate America. The bill would grant federal employees who are in committed same- and opposite-sex couples access to employee benefits such as health insurance and retirement programs. It was introduced by Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., with 52 co-sponsors.

"Corporate America is leaving the federal government in its dust," said HRC President Joe Solmonese. "If the federal government wants to attract and retain the best employees they will adopt the equal benefits practices of the country's largest and most successful businesses."

Thirty-nine Fortune 50 companies offer domestic partner benefits to employees' same-sex partners. In fact, the number of Fortune 500 companies offering domestic partner benefits has increased tenfold since 1995. This includes iconic brands such as the "big three" automakers, IBM, Microsoft, Walt Disney, Citigroup, AOL Time Warner and American Airlines. Nationwide, more than 8,500 companies offer these benefits - an increase in 13 percent just over the past year.

"In a competitive job market, the nation's largest employer cannot afford to sacrifice quality employees by not offering equal pay for equal work," said Solmonese. "We commend Congressman Frank for introducing this important legislation and urge the Congress to follow America's business leaders and enact these critical policies."

A 1999 Society of Human Resources Management and Commerce Clearing House survey found domestic partnership benefits to be one of the top three recruiting incentives among all employees.

The Human Rights Campaign is the largest national lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender political organization with members throughout the country. It effectively lobbies Congress, provides campaign support and educates the public to ensure that LGBT Americans can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community.