Illinois Treasurer Adds Domestic Partner Benefits

June 17, 2010 ( – Illinois state Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias has signed an executive order giving gay and lesbian workers with domestic partners in his office with the same benefits as married employees.

A Chicago Sun-Times news report said that means they will have the same family and medical leave benefits, be able to take time off to have or adopt children and take bereavement time on par with married workers.

According to the Sun-Times, the move makes the office the first constitutional Illinois state office or state agency to adopt such a policy and one of nine states and the District of Columbia to implement leave-related benefits for domestic partners.

 “Hard working men and women devoted to their families should not have to choose between their family and keeping their job,” said Giannoulias, according to the newspaper. “The bottom line is that we should not deny same sex domestic couples the same rights that are available to married couples.”

The Treasurer’s Office’s new domestic partner benefits will be available to employees who sign an affidavit affirming that they are in a committed long-term relationship and meet other criteria, such as relying on each other for financial and emotional support, sharing a common household or owning property, the Sun-Times reported.