Message from the NASA Administrator: Federal Benefits for Legally Married Same-Sex Couples

Status Report From: NASA HQ
Posted: Tuesday, July 2, 2013

image As you may know, last week the United States Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and extended equal protection to all legal marriages in America, regardless of gender. This will affect the Federal benefits available to legally married same-sex couples. For the purposes of Federal benefits, legally married means that the marriage was celebrated in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.

The Supreme Court decision serves as a Qualifying Life Event for some benefits, meaning you may be eligible to enroll immediately. Today, NASA will begin a series of communications on Qualifying Life Events inclusive of all legally married NASA employees, their spouses, and their children. Decisions on your Federal employee benefits package (health benefits, retirement, life insurance) are some of the most important you will make for yourself and your family. As we include new spouses and children into the benefits program, it serves as a reminder that all NASA employees should take this time to review their benefits package and ensure that their benefits continue to meet their needs and the needs of their families.

For some employees in our NASA family, the application for benefits may be the first time you are coming out to your employer and to your coworkers, but you should be assured that you have the full support of all of us on the leadership team. You should waste no time taking care of your loved ones with this new policy. For many of you, it has been an extremely long time coming and we will provide all the support we can in getting your benefits updated.

Charlie B.

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