Equal Employment Benefits for LGBT Federal Employees Clears Senate Committee

millions of federal employees and their families are one step
closer to receiving much needed benefits that will keep them
healthy and secure. Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security
and Governmental Affairs Committee voted in favor of the Domestic
Partner Benefits and Obligations Act (DPBO), a bill that would
extend critical benefits, including health care, employer-based
retirement savings accounts, and tax-saving flexible spending
accounts, to the same-sex domestic partners and children of federal
employees. Similar legislation cleared the U.S House Oversight and
Government Reform Committee on November 18, which readies the
legislation for future action in both chambers.


Congressional movement of
equal benefits legislation is a welcome follow up to President
Obama’s Oval Office signing of a Presidential Memorandum in June
of this year, which Executive Director Jennifer Chrisler attended
on behalf of Family Equality Council’s supporters, extending to
federal employees the limited number of benefits allowed under
current law, which excludes health care benefits.


The denial of these benefits
to LGBT federal employees causes daily harm to their families,
putting them at greater risk in the event of illness and death,
risking their children’s health and welfare, and relegating their
families to second-class status. Yesterday’s vote is an important
step and Family Equality Council looks forward to continuing to
push the Administration and Congress to make this and other
legislation valuing all families a priority. As always, we will not
stop until we have full equality for the hundreds of thousands of
LGBT families, especially those raising children, in this