National Organization for Women (NOW)

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Mai Shiozaki,
202-628-8669,
ext. 116

NOW Applauds President's Expansion of Benefits to Same-Sex Partners of Federal Workers, Supports Efforts in Congress to Extend Full Range of Benefits

WASHINGTON - On June 2, President Barack Obama issued a memorandum compelling executive departments and agencies to take action immediately to extend a number of benefits to employees with same-sex partners. This memo expanded upon a similar one signed by the president last June that began the process of making available to LGBT federal employees and their families the same benefits offered to opposite-sex couples.

"NOW applauds the president's efforts to ensure that LGBT employees in the federal government are treated fairly when it comes to family benefits," said NOW President Terry O'Neill. "The list of rights and benefits denied to same-sex couples is a long one, and it exists because most same-sex couples cannot legally marry in the United States. The ultimate solution, obviously, is to change that. But this incremental step represents vital progress."

Among those benefits extended both last year and this week are child-care subsidies and other family assistance services, long-term care insurance and expanded sick leave for civil service employees and medical care abroad, eligibility for employment at posts, cost-of-living adjustments abroad and medical evacuation for domestic partners of foreign service members, hardship transfers and relocation expenses. The president also instructed agencies that any new benefits must be extended to employees with opposite-sex spouses and those with same-sex partners on an equal basis.

President Obama made clear that under existing federal law his administration is limited in the scope of benefits it can provide to same-sex partners. To close the gap, NOW joins the president in his call for passage of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, which is pending in the House and Senate. Sponsored by Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins and Representative Tammy Baldwin, this legislation would extend the full range of benefits to federal employees with same-sex domestic partners.

###

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States. NOW has 500,000 contributing members and 550 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Share This Article

More in: