Update to Domestic Partnership Regulations, July 2009

Update to Domestic Partnership Regulations, July 2009

FOR ALL U.S. STATE PERSONNEL

SUBJECT: UPDATE — IMPLEMENTING BENEFITS FOR SAME-SEX DOMESTIC PARTNERS OF FOREIGN SERVICE EMPLOYEES SERVING ABROAD

1. This cable advises employees with same-sex domestic partners of two adjustments in our implementation of benefits that we believe will better accommodate the unique situation of a Foreign Service career and the rapidity with which the June 26th policy change was implemented (para 2). It also provides a link to a number of frequently asked questions (para 3).

2. First, the adjustments:

(a) because the policy was implemented quickly during the summer transfer cycle, some otherwise eligible employees were unable to fulfill all the requirements in the final days before their actual move. Those employees can request retroactive reimbursement to the June 26 implementation date for the travel, UAB, and other expenses of a same-sex domestic partner AS LONG AS THEY FILE THE REQUIRED AFFIDAVIT and revised OF-126 (ref B) NO LATER THAN AUGUST 1. Employees should ANNOTATE THE AFFIDAVIT as follows: “the domestic partnership existed as of June 26, 2009” [or as of such other date before the date of signature] “and still exists on the date of signature”. Please review Ref A for what can and cannot be reimbursed, and under what conditions. Note that allowances are NOT retroactive.

(b) the required affidavit has been updated to address the unique circumstances of employees with same-sex domestic partners who have been prevented from establishing a common residence because of service at an unaccompanied post, among other circumstances. The updated affidavit is available on the Department Intranet). Note that the published FAM changes addressing same-sex domestic partners will contain the updated affidavit.

3. A number of frequently asked questions are available on the Department Intranet).