There’s little happening in Congress these days – everyone is waiting for the outcome of the election. [PLEASE don't forget to VOTE on Tuesday November 2nd, if not earlier!]
Nonetheless, this week I found interesting tidbits about two federal bills we’re tracking. Both hint that the bills could start moving again soon.
First, our friends at the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force sent their members an email calling for “federal fair housing protections for marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.” It’s very exciting to see the Task Force including marital status in their list, and we look forward to working with them to amend and pass HR 4820, the Fair and Inclusive Housing Rights Act.
Second, a kerfuffle over pet insurance for federal employees led the Office of Personnel Management to cite “the President’s strong support of the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, which will provide full benefits to same-sex partners of federal workers.” Maybe that means HR 2517, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act, will get moving again. Here’s what I posted on a discussion site. If you’re a federal employee, please weigh in!
What we all have in common is our ability to care for others and our desire to be respected for our caring relationships. Employers really don’t want to know whom we’re caring for; rather, they want to know that we’ll be productive on the job. Sometimes that means helping us fulfill our caring responsibilities so we’re not distracted, absent, or looking for extra money to cover costs. Like all employers, the federal government should seek a solution to helping employees care for *whomever* they define as family. It is not an employer’s place to say that some families are better than others.