In September, the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee considered legislation that would provide federal benefits to same-sex domestic partners of federal employees. Howard Weizmann, the deputy director of the U.S. Office Of Personnel Management, objected to the bill because it “could lead to fraud and abuse in the programs we administer.” Weizmann claimed that the office was unaware of any interest from federal employees for such benefits. He even evoked a fictional movie plot of two heterosexual New York firefighters who pretend to be a gay couple to suggest such fraud would be a problem in real life:
First of all, to suggest that we are being far-fetched in the sense that these benefits are open to fraud or abuse. It’s not an unrealistic concern. I would suggest even Hollywood has discussed this in a movie with Adam Sandler. In which, I think, ‘Chuck and Larry’ get married, which the subject of the movie, was quite frankly, was insurance fraud, along the lines of what we’re discussing. This is not far fetched and it’s not disingenuous to suggest such.
Open Season for the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program began on November 10 and runs through December 8. The Human Rights Campaign is calling on activists to send a message to OPM, telling the agency that “ALL federal employees should be treated equally and have access to the same benefits to help protect our families.”