I know this has been discussed before and thought it would be of interest to everyone:
Delta To Provide Same-Sex Benefits
By SHERRI CHUNN
Associated Press Writer
ATLANTA (AP) -- Delta Air Lines said Thursday it will offer health-care coverage and other benefits to same-sex partners of its U.S. employees beginning July 1.
Bereavement leave and family medical leave benefits will be available to partners of gay employees immediately, spokesman John Kennedy said. The airline has been studying ways to extend benefits to employees' same-sex partners for more than a year, he said.
``It's a business decision,'' Kennedy said. ``Delta is committed to attracting and retaining a diverse work force, and our goal is to ensure Delta provides an inclusive environment for all people to work in.''
Delta's announcement follows a recent decision by another Atlanta-based company, Coca-Cola, to provide benefits for homosexual partners of its U.S. employees beginning Jan. 1.
Several other airlines also have agreed to extend such benefits. United, the nation's largest airline, changed its benefits policies more than a year ago, and was followed quickly by American Airlines and US Airways.
The Georgia Equality Project praised the decision.
``Delta has joined those Georgia and U.S. companies who recognize that domestic-partner benefits are simply equal pay for the equal work of gay and lesbian employees,'' said Harry Knox, executive director of the advocacy group.
A recent report by the Washington-based Human Rights Campaign found that 3,572 companies, colleges and states and local governments offered or have announced they will offer health insurance covering their employees' domestic partners.
Fortune 500 companies offering or planning to offer domestic benefits increased from 70 in August 1999 to 102 in August 2000.