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Federal Agency to Report on DP Benefits for the First Time

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A federal compensation survey is for the first time including data on employer-provided health care benefits for unmarried same-sex couples.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released its now LGBT-inclusive National Compensation Survey on Tuesday. This year’s report looked at access rates for gay domestic partners based on characteristics like occupational groups, full- and part-time status, establishment sizes, and geographic areas.

Brad Jacklin—a Project Director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force—says although Tuesday’s survey is not the “end of the game” for data collection, it’s a “significant step forward for the government.”

JACKLIN: This means a lot in terms of publicity for the community, for the federal government to recognize that there are LGBT families out there being headed by same-sex couples, and how or whether or not they have access to certain employer-provided benefits is important for the community to understand.

The new data shows that about a THIRD of state and local government workers—and about 30-percent of private-sector employees—have ACCESS to health care benefits for their gay partners. Meanwhile, 35-percent of private industry workers have access to a pension plan that has an OPTION for gay domestic partners. That compares to 60-PERCENT for state and local government employees. And workers living in the Pacific region of the country are more likely to receive domestic partner benefits than those in the eight other census divisions.

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