Turn out the lights on Pepco (Rosenstein, The Washington Blade) 07/07/06
GLAA urges Washington Gas Light to adopt DP benefits
GAY AND LESBIAN ACTIVISTS ALLIANCE OF WASHINGTON
Fighting for Equal Rights Since 1971
P. O. Box 75265
Washington, D.C. 20013
July 17, 2006
Mr. James H. DeGraffenreidt
Washington Gas Light Company
101 Constitution Avenue, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20080
Dear Mr. DeGraffenreidt:
We are writing to express our disappointment to learn from a recent article in the Washington Post that Washington Gas Light does not offer any kind of domestic partnership program to its gay and lesbian employees.
Over half of the Fortune 500 companies are now offering domestic partner programs. Since the Washington metropolitan area has long led most of the country in respecting its gay and lesbian workers, Washington Gas Light’s policy seems especially dated.
Offering domestic partnership benefits is not just a matter of social responsibility; it is a matter of corporate common sense. Companies failing to provide such programs put themselves at a distinct competitive disadvantage by alienating current or potential employees in the GLBT community who regard such an oversight as a sign of corporate indifference, if not outright hostility.
You may not realize that providing domestic partner benefits to those who are registered as domestic partners in the District of Columbia is cost-free to private employers. (Any eligible couple may register as domestic partners in the District, regardless of where they live.) Section 47-1803.3(a) of the D.C. Code specifically declares:
(a) Deductions allowed. -- The following deductions shall be allowed from gross income in computing net income of corporations, financial institutions, unincorporated businesses and partnerships:
(15) Health insurance premiums. -- All health insurance premium expenditures for domestic partners and family members of employees if offered to all of its full-time employees who are District of Columbia residents.
You might want to check the comprehensive on-line guide on domestic partner benefits provided by the Human Rights Campaign, available at: http://www.hrc.org/Template.cfm?Section=The_Issues&Template=/TaggedPage/TaggedPageDisplay.cfm&TPLID=26&ContentID=31366
We believe that instituting a domestic partnership program for your employees will greatly enhance both your competitiveness and your public image.
Thank you for your attention. We look forward to your response.
Barrett L. Brick