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Kerry Backs Bill Providing Equal Benefits to Same Sex Couples

Press Release

Location: Boston, MA

Senator John Kerry recently co-sponsored legislation that would provide same sex couples the same benefits as married federal employees.

The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act would require the federal government to provide the same employee benefits currently provided to married couples and their spouses to same sex couples in domestic partnerships. Currently, same sex partners of federal employees are twice as likely to be uninsured as opposite sex spouses of married federal employees.

"Fortune 500 companies and a huge number of the nation's largest private employers settled this issue long ago and the government needs to get with the program. It's just plain wrong to discriminate when it comes to providing benefits for employees and their spouses and partners. This is an issue of common sense and common decency," said Sen. Kerry. "I ran for President eight years ago and many times in that campaign I talked about the injustice that befell a woman whose partner was killed at the Pentagon on 9/11 and who was denied the benefits she'd have been entitled to if she was part of a heterosexual couple. Yet here we are all these years later and much farther along in our journey as a country on these issues, and yet the needle of public policy still hasn't moved much. This has to change, period."

Under the bill, employees and their domestic partners will have the same benefits as married employees and their spouses, including:

* Employee health benefits
* Retirement and disability plans
* Family, medical, and emergency leave
* Group life insurance
* Long-term care insurance
* Compensation for work injuries
* Death, captivity, and similar benefits
* Relocation, travel, and related expenses

Senator Kerry has co-sponsored the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act since it was first introduced in 2007.

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