The federal government is the nation’s largest civilian employer with 2.7 million
employees. However, it does not provide health, retirement, or relocation expenses for
the same-sex partners of its employees. As a result, a lesbian or gay civilian employee
doing the same job as his or her married heterosexual counterpart will receive
significantly lower compensation.
The bill that Representative Baldwin and I are advancing, The Domestic Partnership
Benefits and Obligations Act, will put the federal government on par with a majority of
Fortune 500 companies by extending employee benefit programs to cover the domestic
partners of federal employees. Already, a large and growing number of America’s major
corporations, as well as state and local governments and educational institutions, have
extended their employee benefit programs to cover their employees’ committed
This significant legislation would ensure that lesbian and gay federal employees
receive equal compensation for their work and service to our nation. This long overdue
legislation would allow for the recruitment of the most talented workforce possible,
attracting a new generation of the best and brightest to federal service.
As a Member of Congress, I will continue to work towards the goal of equality and
justice for all through legislation such as The Domestic Partnership Benefits and
Obligations Act. I am a committed friend of the LGBT community and I will not stop
working, along with LGBT organizations, until we see these goals come to fruition.
www.ambiente.us DECEMBER | DICIEMBRE 2009
Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen on The Domestic
Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act
As a lead sponsor with Representative Tammy Baldwin of The Domestic Partnership
Benefits and Obligations Act (DPBO), I am pleased with the successful “mark up,”
which is a review phase, of this important legislation. DPBO would provide equal family
benefits and obligations including retirement benefits, health insurance, relocation
expenses, to federal civilian employees with same-sex partners. The Oversight and
Government Reform Committee, which had initial jurisdiction over the bill, voted 23-12
to move DPBO further along the legislative process and readies it for a possible vote in
the full House of Representatives hopefully this December or early next year.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 13 percent of employees’
compensation comes in the form of insurance and retirement benefits, which generally
cover family members and dependents, and 7 percent in the form of paid leave, which
makes it possible for workers to accommodate work and family obligations.
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CONTACT: Alex Cruz, Director - Cong. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
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