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June 2, 2010 Wednesday 8:42 PM EST
LENGTH: 264 words
HEADLINE: Obama orders same-sex benefits
DATELINE: WASHINGTON, June 2
U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday ordered the extension of more employment benefits to same-sex domestic partners of federal workers.
In a statement released by the White House, Obama said the additional benefits include family assistance services, hardship transfers and relocation expenses.
“It also requires agencies that extend any new benefits to employees’ opposite-sex spouses to make those benefits available on equal terms to employees’ same-sex domestic partners to the extent permitted by law,” Obama said.
Obama directed executive agencies to implement his order immediately.
Obama issued a memorandum last year instructing the Office of Personnel Management and the secretary of state to extend benefits such as long-term care insurance, expanded sick leave, medical care abroad, eligibility for employment at posts, cost-of-living adjustments abroad and medical evacuation to the domestic partners of gay and lesbian foreign service members.
“While this memorandum is an important step on the path to equality, my administration continues to be prevented by existing federal law from providing same-sex domestic partners with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples,” Obama continued. “That is why, today, I renew my call for swift passage of an important piece of legislation pending in both houses of Congress — the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act.”
Obama said the bill would “extend to the same-sex domestic partners of federal employees the full range of benefits currently enjoyed by federal employees’ opposite-sex spouses.”
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