WASHINGTON -- The Human Rights Campaign lauds Senators Joseph Lieberman and Gordon Smith and Representatives Tammy Baldwin, Henry Waxman, Tom Davis, and Chris Shays, along with 19 additional Senate cosponsors and 35 additional House cosponsors, for their support of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, which was introduced today. This bill 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 legislation would allow the federal government to keep pace with other top employers," said Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese. "It is not only a matter of equal pay for equal work, but also the best way to insure that the government has access to the top talent on the same basis as the nation's leading corporations," he added.
The majority of Fortune 500 companies provide domestic partner benefits to their employees. Many of America's leading companies, including the "Big Three" automakers, defense giant Raytheon, IBM, Microsoft, Shell Oil, Walt Disney, Fannie Mae, Citigroup, Xerox, Time Warner and United and American Airlines offer these benefits. In addition, 13 states and 201 local governments offer their public employees domestic partnership benefits. Recently Michael Guest, former ambassador to Romania, cited the lack of family benefits as his reason for retiring from the Foreign Service. "The federal government's failure to provide these benefits impairs its ability to compete for the best and the brightest," said Solmonese.
The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against GLBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
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