Now Reading
Obama pushes equal benefits for LGBTI Americans

Obama pushes equal benefits for LGBTI Americans

US president Barack Obama has expanded government benefits so they include LGBTI people.

On Friday 20 June, the White House made a statement regarding government benefits for gay people in the US. These include social security, veterans benefits and work leave to care for a sick partner.

Obama’s official twitter account tweeted a link to the news, with the words ‘Another victory for equality #LoveIsLove.’

The Labour department said it will look at the Family and Medical Leave Act and ensure it includes same-sex couples. The Act allows an individual to take unpaid leave to care for their partner if they fall ill.

The Veterans Affairs Department will allow the spouses of LGBTI veterans to be buried alongside them in national cemeteries.

Furthermore, the Social Security Administration will start processing survivor and death benefits for gay couples.

The benefits will be extended across all US states, even those in which gay marriage has not been legalized.

‘The White House is promoting the (family leave) move as part of Obama’s push to expand protections for gays and lesbians by allowing same-sex couples to take advantage of the same federal benefits available to married heterosexual couples,’ read a statement from the White House.

‘The White House said there are a few benefits that current law prohibits the federal government from granting to same-sex couples. Hoping to end that limitation, the Obama administration is calling on Congress to pass legislation removing those prohibitions.’

Earlier this week, Obama spoke out against federal contractors discriminating against LGBTI workers.

‘I’ve directed my staff to prepare for my signature an executive order prohibiting discrimination by federal contractors on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity because in the United States of America, who you are and who you love shouldn’t be a fireable offense,’ he said.