Proposed legislation would offer benefits to federal employees in committed same-sex relationships. The Senate version of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act is cosponsored by Maine Republican Susan Collins and Wisconsin Democrat Tammy Baldwin, who said it makes sense for two reasons.
“One being equity, equality and fairness, and the second being the competitiveness of the federal government when it comes to attracting the most qualified, skilled and dedicated employees,” Baldwin said.
The bill would cover things like health benefits, federal retirement, life insurance, workers compensation and family medical leave. “This very much mirrors the forward thinking nature of many of our Fortune 500 companies, over 60 percent of which now include such benefits,” said Baldwin.
In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, which defined marriage on the federal level as between one man and one woman. As a result, federal agencies began updating their policies to treat married same-sex couples the same as married heterosexual couples. Baldwin offered a similar bill when she served in the House of Representatives. Companion legislation is being offered in the House, by Wisconsin Democrat Representative Mark Pocan.