Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Domestic Parnership Benefits and Obligations Act is Gaining Momentum

With more an more people realizing that it is wrong to discriminate against people simply because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, there has been a lot of momentum recently towards recognizing the committed and loving relationships that so many Americans have. According to a statement released by Sen. Jeff Merkley's office, it appears as though there has been another step taken towards recognizing same sex relationships.

Merkley has signed on as a co-sponsor of The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, which is office says "will help the federal government keep pace with the 16 states, including Oregon, and the majority of Fortune 500 companies that are already offering domestic partner benefits to their employees." Some of the benefits the legislation would provide for federal employees and their domestic partners are:
  • Employee Health Benefits
  • Family, medical and emergency leave
  • Retirement and disability
  • Group life insurance
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Death and disability benefits
  • Compensation for work injuries
  • Relocation, travel and related expenses
What's perhaps most noticeable about Merkley's move here is that it's clear he views this as a basic right for employees to be able to work for the federal government and not be discriminated against when it comes to receiving their benefits.
“It is plain wrong that some federal employees are not currently entitled to equal health and employment benefits,” said Merkley. “This legislation will ensure that all federal employees, regardless of their sexual orientation, have access to employee health benefits, family and medical leave, compensation for work injuries, and the retirement and disability plans that are vital to the financial security of families.”

“This bill is a step in the right direction to make sure that all Americans are compensated equally under the law,” said Merkley. “It is time for the federal government to stand up for fairness and ensure that all federal employees and their loved ones are treated the same.”
I wholeheartedly agree with Sen. Merkley here, it is indeed "time for the federal government to stand up for fairness." That is why this legislation needs to be passed by Congress and signed into law. I encourage everyone to contact their members of Congress and let them know that they should join Merkley and stand up for what is right by co-sponsoring this legislation.

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