Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Well, it's not same-sex marriage legalization, but...

By Michael J.W. Stickings

It's something, and it's certainly not meaningless, and, well, it's a major step in the right direction:

President Obama will announce [today] that he is extending federal benefits to include unmarried domestic partners of federal workers, including same-sex partners, White House officials said [last night].

Obama will sign an executive order implementing the change in the Oval Office, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid upstaging the president's announcement.

The move would give partners of federal employees access to health care and financial benefits such as relocation fees for moves. The State Department announced a similar extension of benefits last month, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton calling it "the right thing to do." [I posted on that here.]

But it's not nearly enough. How about repealing "Don't ask, don't tell," the stupid, bigoted policy that effectively keeps (open) gays and lesbians out of the military, or pushes them out? And how about taking some leadership on same-sex marriage (as some governors and state legislatures are)?

That, apparently, is not change Obama believes in. As much as I like and admire him, his conservatism on these key gay rights issues is a major blight on his presidency.

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  • Actually there's much less there than meets the eye. Apparently it's a memorandum, not an executive order, so it evaporates when his administration ends. And it's unclear just what benefits can be given due to DOMA - probably not health and retirement, which are the biggies that matter.

    By Blogger surakmn, at 10:06 AM  

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