Majority says partners of LGBT employees deserve equal benefits

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Most heterosexual adults believe that employees with committed partners who are lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) should receive the same benefits as spouses, according to a new survey.

About 62% of heterosexual respondents believe that all employees’ partners are entitled to equal benefits on the job regardless of sexual orientation and 63% think spouses and partners should receive untaxed health insurance benefits, according to the Harris Interactive, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates and Witeck-Combs Communications study. The survey involved 2,334 adults who identified themselves as heterosexual and 386 who were identified as LGBT.

Exactly 74% of heterosexual respondents think both spouses of married heterosexual employees and committed partners of LGBT employees should receive leave for employees who lose a spouse, partner or close family member; about 70% think spouses and partners should receive leave rights for family and medical emergencies under the Family and Medical Leave Act, according to the survey.

In addition, 52% of respondents said it was extremely or very important that they work for a company that offers equal health insurance benefits to all employees.

“Employers that offer the same benefits to both heterosexual and same-sex couples are at a competitive advantage over ones that do not,” Selisse Berry, executive director of Out & Equal Founding, said in a statement. “Recruiting and retaining the best possible employees is what defines a company’s potential in their industry segment.”

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