The U.S. Office of Personnel Management has proposed a rule that would permit federal employees to buy coverage for same-sex partners through the federal long term care insurance program.

OPM would expand the definition of “qualified relative” to include same-sex domestic partners of eligible federal and U.S. Postal Service employees and annuitants, the agency says in a draft published today in the Federal Register.

“The proposed regulation will help agencies address the family needs of an increasingly diverse workforce and will enhance the federal government’s ability to compete with the private sector for talent,” the OPM says.

In a related move, the OPM has proposed a regulation that would include same-sex partners in the definitions employed in connection with government workers’ use of sick leave, funeral leave and other types of leave to attend to a same-sex partner during times.

Comments on the proposed rules are due Nov. 13.