On Friday, Sen. Joe. Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) on Friday reintroduced the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act which would extend FULL domestic benefits to the partners of gay federal employees.
The Bill would make the same-sex partners of federal employees eligible for federal health benefits, long-term care, Family and Medical Leave and federal retirement benefits.
The Bill, if passed would finally fill the void of inequalities that gay and lesbian Federal workers deal with everyday.
The orders issued by President Obama in 2009, so that some gay and lesbian Federal Employee’s might be eligible for the federal government’s long term care program, (which is NOT health insurance) and same-sex partners of State Department employees can apply for overseas relocation-related benefits only affected and exremely miniscule percentage of gay and lesbian Federal workers and while the Obama Administration touted it as an achievement, it fell far short of making any difference or evening the field.
“We want to attract the best men and women possible to serve in federal government,” Lieberman said in a statement. “One way to do that is by offering competitive benefits to the family members of gay federal employees.”
Collins agreed, saying, “The federal government must compete with the private sector when it comes to attracting the most qualified, skilled, and dedicated employees. Today, health, medical, and other benefits are a major component of any competitive employment package.”
But with federal government being barred from recognizing same-sex marriages under the Defense of Marriage Act, the current goverment budget crisis, and the Republican controlled House one needs to wonder if this Bill will have to be re-introduced a fourth time after 2012.
Let’s hope not.