Legislation that would extend job-related benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees was introduced Wednesday by Sen. Mark Dayton (D-Minn.) and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). The Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2003 would treat same-sex and opposite-sex spouses of federal workers equally. "This legislation enables the federal government to aggressively compete with the private sector for highly skilled workers," said Dave Noble, executive director for the gay political group National Stonewall Democrats. "When 40% of Fortune 500 Companies offer competitive benefits, Democrats understand that equality often makes great business sense."
Under the legislation, any spousal benefit provided to marital partners of federal workers would be provided to domestic partners. The legislation is being introduced jointly today in both chambers of Congress. Frank and Dayton introduced identical legislation last year during the 107th Congress. The Senate version of the bill was cosponsored by six Democrats, while the House version was cosponsored by 89 Democrats and one Republican.