Task Force Action Fund Urges for Passage of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act

For Immediate Release

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Pedro Julio Serrano, Communications Coordinator
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Task Force Action Fund Urges for Passage of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act

WASHINGTON - 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 builds the political power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community from the ground up. We do this by training activists, organizing broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, building the organizational capacity of our movement and generating groundbreaking research through our Policy Institute.

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