The Obama administration will not
extend benefits to the families of gay and lesbian federal workers in
a civil union or domestic partnership.
Following a Supreme Court ruling
overturning part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the Obama
administration moved quickly to recognize the legal marriages of gay
But, according to The
Washington Post, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM),
which oversees federal workers, announced that couples who are not
married “will remain ineligible for most federal benefit programs.”
Some benefits previously extended to domestic partners, however,
will remain intact.
OPM will extend benefits to the spouses
and children of married federal workers, regardless of whether they
live in a state that does not recognize their marriage.
Proponents of civil unions have
previously held up the institution as equal to marriage in terms of
benefits. The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), for example,
has previously backed civil unions as an alternative to full marriage
in states where both were being debated.
Currently four states – New Jersey,
Hawaii, Illinois and Colorado – recognize gay couples with civil
unions. Gay couples can enter a domestic partnership in several
states, including Oregon, Nevada and Wisconsin.