Massachusetts Governor, Jane Swift, announced Wednesday that her administration would extend some domestic partner benefits to gay and lesbian state employees. Highlighting the fact that benefits had already been extended to the state’s social workers, Swift said other state employees would become eligible over the next two years, as their contracts are renegotiated. Gay and lesbian state workers will not be eligible for leave to care for a sick partner, bereavement leave in the case of death, and paid time off for court appearances or counseling sessions associated with domestic violence situations. Unfortunately, health insurance benefits will not be include in the expanded coverage.
Swift denied that the decision to expand domestic partner benefits was in response to criticism from gay stepson, Brian Hunt. In Wednesday’s edition of The Boston Globe, Hunt called Swift’s position on gay and lesbian rights hypocritical. “She wants to get the votes of the gay community but when it comes down to it, she doesn’t want to lose other votes over it. It’s hypocritical to me.”