WASHINGTON – The American Federation of Government Employees, today, thanked Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Ranking Member Susan Collins (R-ME) for introducing S. 1120, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009, and their leadership in passing the bill out of the Homeland Security Committee. The bill provides that a federal employee and his or her domestic partner be entitled to benefits available to a married federal employee and his or her spouse.
The union strongly supports the bill, “It is imperative that this legislation be passed,” AFGE National President John Gage commented. “This is a matter of equality that needs to be addressed.”
Under S.1102, same-sex domestic partners of federal government employees would be required to file a legal statement with the Office of Personnel Management. OPM is the agency responsible for confirming shared financial responsibility within the home, which will determine partner eligibility. The bill would extend to health insurance under FEHBP, retirement benefits, rights under the Family and Medical Leave Act, life insurance, workers’ compensation, death and disability benefits, and reimbursement benefits for relocation, travel and related expenses.
“Within the private sector, many companies already have extended these benefits to same-sex partners. Withholding benefits in the public sector will affect recruiting among the next generation of employees. It is now time for the federal government to step up. We support the enactment of S.1102 for equality among the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community,” concluded Gage.