Human Rights Campaign Applauds Introduction of Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act

by HRC Staff

Legislation Would Ensure Federal Employees Receive Equal Pay for Equal Work

WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today hailed the introduction of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act (DPBO) in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. The bill, sponsored by Reps. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) in the House and Sens. Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) and Susan Collins (R-ME) in the Senate, would provide benefits for same-sex domestic partners of federal civilian employees on the same basis as spousal benefits. These benefits would include participation in applicable retirement programs, life and health insurance benefits, and family and medical leave.

"This bill embodies the simple principle that equal work deserves equal pay,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.  “Thousands of LGBT people serve our country every day as federal civil servants, yet their families cannot receive the same important benefits that their straight coworkers’ do.  This is not simply a matter of fairness; it is also a way to ensure that the federal government recruits and retains the best and the brightest.  Last Congress, both House and Senate committees recognized those facts and reported out this legislation.  It’s time for Congress to finish the job.” 

Currently, fifty-nine percent of Fortune 500 companies provide domestic partner benefits to their employees.  Many of America's leading companies, including defense giant Raytheon, IBM, Microsoft, Shell Oil, Walt Disney, Owens Corning, Citigroup, Whirlpool, Time Warner, and United and American Airlines offer these benefits. In addition, twenty-four states, the District of Columbia, and more than 100 local governments offer their public employees these benefits. 

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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