Press

Task Force Action Fund urges for passage of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act

Date: 
July 08, 2009

MEDIA CONTACT:
Pedro Julio Serrano
Communications Coordinator
(Office) 646.358.1479
(Cell) 787.602.5954
PJSerrano@theTaskForce.org

WASHINGTON, July 8 — The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund has submitted testimony to the United States House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and the District of Columbia, which today held a hearing on the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009. The Task Force Action Fund urges passage of this important legislation.

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 Action Fund

"Already, a majority of Fortune 500 companies offer their employees domestic partner benefits. So do more than 300 colleges and universities, more than 200 local governments and at least 19 states. This legislation has been endorsed by four major unions, together representing nearly two and a half million government employees.

"Polls conducted within the last year demonstrate that a majority of Americans believe that same-sex partners should receive federal benefits, and that fully 73 percent of the country believes that same-sex partners should be eligible for health insurance. Far from a radical social policy, this legislation would simply bring the federal government up to the standard endorsed by nearly three-fourths of U.S. taxpayers.

"In addition to the issue's fundamental fairness, the federal government's failure to provide domestic partner benefits also makes it significantly more difficult to recruit and retain the best people. Ambassador Michael Guest, who testified before the subcommittee this afternoon, recently left the State Department after being unable to secure health insurance benefits for his partner. Across the country, an unknown number of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees have done the same, leaving government for jobs in the private sector, where benefit coverage for same-sex partners is much easier to find.

"It is unconscionable that the federal government, the country's largest civilian employer, does not already provide domestic partnership benefits. With this bill, the time has come to rectify this injustice. We thank the subcommittee for this hearing and we urge the House of Representatives to move swiftly to pass this important legislation."

To read the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund testimony, click here.


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The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund, founded in 1974 as the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, Inc., works to build the grassroots political power of the LGBT community to win complete equality. We do this through direct and grassroots lobbying to defeat anti-LGBT ballot initiatives and legislation and pass pro-LGBT legislation and other measures. We also analyze and report on the positions of candidates for public office on issues of importance to the LGBT community. The Task Force Action Fund is a 501(c)(4) non-profit corporation incorporated in New York. Contributions to the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Action Fund are not tax deductible.