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NTEU Leader Kelley Applauds Supreme Court Ruling Striking Down Defense of Marriage Act

Wednesday, June 26 2013

Washington, D.C.—The leader of the nation’s largest independent union of federal employees today strongly applauded the decision of the Supreme Court clearing the way for full rights for spouses of same-sex federal workers and their families.

“This important decision will extend to federal workers benefits that have become commonplace in the private sector and for other public employees,” said President Colleen M. Kelley of the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU). Presently, a dozen states and the District of Columbia recognize same-sex marriage.

In a letter to Acting Director Elaine Kaplan of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), President Kelley called on the agency to act “as swiftly as possible to end discriminatory practices in federal employment and ensure access to federal benefits” for same-sex couples and their families.

The NTEU leader noted that “federal employees should not have to wait any longer to be treated fairly under the law.”

Prior to today’s Supreme Court decision, the law effectively forced federal employees in same-sex marriages to suffer discrimination in the form of additional health care payments and lost retirement benefits simply because of the sex of their spouse.

As the largest independent federal union, NTEU represents 150,000 employees in 31 agencies and departments.

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