When people tell me not to worry that same sex couples in the U.S. can't get married, it's just a matter of time ... that gay rights are culturally accepted ... that those 'other people' will be on the wrong side of history ... I want them all to see this news and let them know that actually, there's a lot of work to be done, starting, most importantly, with our federal government. The HRC reports
Earlier this week, government employees participating in Federal Employee Health Benefits were notified by a provider that they are eligible to buy into insurance policies for their pets. These same employees are denied the opportunity to cover their same-sex domestic partners.
“Current law puts federal workers’ parrots ahead of their partners,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese. “It is time for Congress to act to put people first and extend health care benefits equally to all of their employees.”
why this is so incredibly important:
Benefits, such as health insurance and retirement savings, are a significant portion of employee compensation. Although the federal government – the nation’s largest civilian employer – offers attractive family benefits to employees with different-sex spouses, it does not offer the same benefits to lesbian and gay workers with partners. As a result, these employees do not receive equal pay for their equal contributions, and the government cannot keep pace with leading private-sector employers – including many federal contactors – in recruiting and retaining top talent. In fact, 57% of Fortune 500 companies offer domestic partner benefits to their employees. HRC is not aware of any statistics regarding pet insurance offerings by the Fortune 500.
This, like DOMA and DADT, is an example of government sanctioned discrimination. This not only affects federal workers, but the entire queer community, especially youth who should be growing up in a country where the government's laws protect them and provide them with the same rights as everyone else. To be treated as less than a dog is unacceptable.