Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

The State Department Implements Its Domestic Partner Benefits Changes


Admittedly, State had a heads-up on other departments and agencies in equalizing benefits for the domestic partners of gay and lesbian employees and for the spouses of heterosexual workers, since Secretary Hillary Clinton ordered a review of department policies long before President Obama announced a government-wide review. But as of June 26, the changes to State's operating manuals governing those benefits were in effect. I'll be interested to see what role State's example plays in the agency-by-agency reviews, which I think were underlooked in the mainstream coverage of President Obama's benefits order. As Office of Personnel Management director John Berry proved as an assistant secretary at Interior, a deep review of a department's policies can turn up a whole mess of ways that a department treats gay workers different from straight ones. Policies get calcified, ignored, perhaps not even really enforced, but they're still there, and can still present a problem. If the reviews are substantive and thorough, agencies may end up changing a whole bunch of policies that disproportionately, or only, affect their gay employees. They still can't extend access to the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program--Congress is going to have to do that. But agencies could end up taking on relocation benefits and other issues. The full impact of Obama's order remains to be seen.

Close [ x ] More from GovExec

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.