Alfred K. Lang
Director, Human Resources
IMCOM Europe Region
DSN (314) 370-3329 <tel:%28314%29%20370-3329>
Cml.(011-49-) (0)6221-573329 <tel:%28011-49-%29%20%280%296221-573329>
Good afternoon, everyone
I recently participated in a workshop on "Same-Sex Domestic Partner Benefits" hosted by DoD and want to share with you the information that I received. I also want to offer my assistance should you have any questions or cases that you would like to discuss.
As I'm sure you all know, on June 17, 2009, a Presidential memorandum required Agencies to determine those benefits that could be extended to same-sex domestic partners by policy or regulation. On June 2, 2010, a Presidential memorandum directed agencies to take action, consistent with existing law, to extend benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of Federal employees, and, where applicable, to the children of same-sex domestic partners of Federal employees. (See attachment 1 and 2 for historical data)
Since then, DoD has been working to identify those DoD policy issuances which must change in order to extend benefits. See attachment 3 for the status of these policy changes. This document is especially important because it reflects those benefits that can be extended at this time. This document is also useful when advising employees who are making decisions about bringing domestic partners to the overseas area. During the workshop, there was an emphasis on educating the workforce so that expectations are clear.
The 4th attachment is a memorandum from Tony Whitehouse clarifying travel and relocation expenses for same-sex domestic partners. The memo does not mention Emergency Visitation Travel (EVT), but we did discuss it during the workshop and, because the entitlement is defined for "spouses", domestic partners are not eligible for EVT. Mr. Whitehouse's memorandum also discusses the importance of consistently applying the requirements for documenting family relationships and claimed benefits. The point of consistency was emphasized many times - where a requirement exists to document a marriage (or birth), documentation can be required to document a same-sex domestic partner relationship. Where documentation is not required of a marriage (or birth), documentation cannot be required of a same-sex domestic partner relationship. DoD is currently drafting a new form to document a domestic partnership, however, the form will take some time for completion and, at this time, basically consists of the Joint Travel Regulation definition of domestic partner. I can share the draft for your current use, if requested. One note on this issue, because the Federal government does not recognize a same-sex marriage, a same-sex marriage certificate cannot be used to document a domestic partner relationship.
I hope that this information helps. I'll continue to share future information and really encourage you to contact me if you have any questions/concerns or to share information.
Carla A. Shamberger
Chief, Employment and Compensation Branch Civilian Personnel Directorate (CPD) HQ, U.S. Army Europe, G-1