Same-Sex Partners of Federal Employees May Get More Benefits

Thursday, 23 Feb 2012 10:10 AM

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The Obama administration is working to complete a set of new regulations that would extend a host of benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. By making the changes through regulation, the administration sidesteps a Republican-controlled House, The Washington Post reported.

“We’ve been working hard on a lot of domestic partner benefits,” Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said. “We will continue to pursue domestic partner benefit legislation for . . . [Federal Employees Health Benefits Program] and retiree benefits as an administration priority.”

The proposed regulations cover such areas as child-care subsidies for the children of a same-sex domestic partner, evacuation pay for a same-sex partner from an overseas posting in the event of an emergency, treating same-sex partners like a spouse in matters dealing with insurance and survivor annuities for retirees, job opportunities for partners returning from overseas postings, and eligibility for employee assistance programs, according to the Post.

Not long after Obama took office in 2009, he issued a presidential memorandum that ordered federal agencies to review benefits provided to employees and determine which “measures . . . can be taken, consistent with existing law, to provide benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of Federal Government employees,” the Post reported.

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