Majority says partners of LGBT employees deserve equal benefits


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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