House committee passes Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act

November 18, 2009

Inga Sarda-Sorensen
Director of Communications
(Office) 646.358.1463
(Cell) 202.641.5592

WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 — The U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform tonight passed the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009. The Task Force Action Fund submitted testimony supporting this bill earlier this year. The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act would provide domestic partner benefits for federal employees and their same-sex partners. These benefits include federal health insurance; retirement and disability benefits; family, medical and emergency leave; and compensation for work injuries. The bill would also ensure that employees' same-sex domestic partners are subject to the same ethics regulations that currently govern federal employees' opposite-sex spouses.

Statement by Rea Carey, Executive Director
National Gay and Lesbian Task Force

"It is unconscionable that the federal government, the country's largest civilian employer, does not already provide domestic partnership benefits. This bill will rectify this injustice. In addition to the issue of fundamental fairness, the federal government's failure to provide domestic partner benefits makes it significantly more difficult to recruit and retain the best people.

“Businesses clearly understand this. Already, a majority of Fortune 500 companies offer their employees domestic partner benefits. So do hundreds of colleges, universities, local governments and many states. This legislation will simply bring the federal government up to the standard already supported by businesses and people across the country. We thank the committee for its vote, and urge the full House to pass this important legislation.”

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The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. We do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement. Our Policy Institute, the movement’s premier think tank, provides research and policy analysis to support the struggle for complete equality and to counter right-wing lies. As part of a broader social justice movement, we work to create a nation that respects the diversity of human expression and identity and creates opportunity for all. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., we also have offices in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami, Minneapolis and Cambridge.