Obama to extend some benefits to gay partners of federal employees
Posted on June 18, 2009
Filed Under Uncategorized
John Berry, director of the White House Office of Personnel Management and the highest-ranking gay member of the administration, called the move “long overdue progress in our nation’s journey to equality.”
The setting will cast an especially bright light on the president’s action, but many expressed disappointment that the president was not taking bolder steps, particularly in the area of healthcare benefits.
“This is not enough. I want to be able to add my wife to my policy in the same way that every other federal employee can add their spouse to their policy,” said Kate Kuykendall , a federal worker Los Angeles. She noted that the federal government is the only employer exempt from a California law that requires companies to extend benefits to same-sex partners.
Berry said Obama’s move would allow employees’ domestic partners to be added to the government’s long-term insurance program, which covers such illnesses as Alzheimer’s disease. The memorandum also would allow employees to use sick leave to take care of domestic partners and children, and would let the same-sex partners of diplomats use medical facilities at foreign posts.
Los Angeles Times
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