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Should Obama Extend More Benefits to Gays?

The White House announced late Wednesday that President Obama had signed an executive order extending benefits for partners of gay federal employees.

The new order requires that Executive agencies take “immediate action to extend to the same-sex domestic partners of Federal employees a number of meaningful benefits, from family assistance services to hardship transfers to relocation expenses,” Obama said in a statement.

Despite the President’s executive order, gay and lesbian federal employees still remain blocked from access to primary health insurance and pension benefits. Because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), the 1996 law that defines marriage as a heterosexual union for the federal government, full benefits cannot legally be extended to partners of gay and lesbian federal employees.

Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, praised the President’s efforts, but pointed out the inequality that still exists. “The limitations of these new benefits however serve as a glaring reminder that the Defense of Marriage Act ultimately stands in the way of providing true equality to LGBT Americans,” Solmonese said.

Congress, however, is trying to figure out a way to get around DOMA to extend the benefits fully. Last year, key committees in both houses cleared legislation drafted by openly gay Wisconsin Representative Tammy Baldwin. Baldwin’s legislation is entitled Domestic Partnership and Obligations Act (DPBO) and Obama fully supports this as well.

“This legislation, championed by Senators Joe Liebeman and Susan Collins and Congresswoman Tammy Balwin, would extend to the same-sex domestic partners of Federal employees the full range of benefits currently being enjoyed by Federal employees’ opposite-sex spouses,” said Obama. “I look forward to signing it into law.”
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  • Striker 2010/07/13 23:13:00
    Striker
    Where does Gov OR Obama own any rights or "benefits" to "grant" to anyone?

    As much as the gay/lez bunch reviles me, still there's no reason to deny them their choices. I only wish that they would respectfully find their own label, other than usurping the word "marriage".
  • greblaas 2010/06/30 22:16:26
    greblaas
    What about two heterosexuals who live together and have done so on a long term basis?
  • cinseat... greblaas 2010/07/13 15:22:52
    cinseattle61
    They have domestic partnership for hetro's. But you must legally set it up. Hetro's can do this but in most States gay's can not.
  • SandyGirl greblaas 2010/07/23 16:24:24
    SandyGirl
    What about them? They can get married.
  • cutter's falls 2010/06/26 02:11:42
  • Mark cutter'... 2010/06/30 21:17:15
    Mark
    We're not talking about custodial rights here. We're talking about basic rights to be seen as married couples by the government, which affords hospital visitation rights, adoption rights, and various other rights. So, I'm not sure where you're even trying to come from in your post. After all, it's not like homosexuals are accidentally becoming pregnant like heterosexual couples.

    And yes, what one does in their bedroom is their business. So, why does it concern you? Are you really that insecure in your heterosexuality that you have to put down homosexuals to make yourself feel better?
  • cutter'... Mark 2010/07/01 02:00:00
  • Mark cutter'... 2010/07/01 05:15:04
    Mark
    By denying rights, you are putting people down. Yes, they shouldn't just automatically say if they are homosexual or not, just like I wouldn't expect someone to say that they are heterosexual or not. Luckily, that's the vocal minority of the LBGT community. Most do not say that they are, because it's nobody's business but their own, and the business of someone they might be interested in, just like in the heterosexual community.
  • cutter'... Mark 2010/07/01 14:43:26
  • Mark cutter'... 2010/07/02 19:39:23
    Mark
    What does buying an alcoholic alcohol have to do with giving government rights to homosexuals? There is no correlation between the issues.
  • Mark cutter'... 2010/06/30 21:23:38
    Mark
    We're not talking about custodial rights here. We're talking about basic rights to be seen as married couples by the government, which affords hospital visitation rights, adoption rights, and various other rights. So, I'm not sure where you're even trying to come from in your post. After all, it's not like homosexuals are accidentally becoming pregnant like heterosexual couples.

    And yes, what one does in their bedroom is their business. So, why does it concern you? Are you really that insecure in your heterosexuality that you have to put down homosexuals to make yourself feel better?
  • greblaas Mark 2010/06/30 22:17:36
    greblaas
    Do you have to put down heterosexuals to make yourself feel better?
  • Sista N... greblaas 2010/07/01 02:29:22
  • greblaas Sista N... 2010/07/01 16:54:16
    greblaas
    "don't bring to the world" ?
  • DrackolusO'Dell 2010/06/25 15:42:39
    DrackolusO'Dell
    Good! Nice to see the feds are at least acting like their doing something. I've fought for this, and I want to see gay rights actually go somewhere.
  • Kris Says Hi 2010/06/24 19:53:32
    Kris Says Hi
    I want the same rights, most importantly serving in the military.
  • teagan16123 2010/06/08 01:56:22
    teagan16123
    until we are treated with the same respect as everyone else the answer will always be yes
  • JAA teagan1... 2010/06/26 18:14:07
    JAA
    Mandating one be "treated with respect" is not the same as engendering respect. Fortunately, the government is not yet the "thought police," as they can only take our behavior freedoms away. We still have freedom to think.
  • Mark JAA 2010/06/30 21:19:48
    Mark
    Too bad homophobes refuse to use their freedom to think. Very few of them even know a homosexual (at least one that's not hiding in the closet in their clergy). So, they don't even know who they're oppressing.
  • JAA Mark 2010/07/01 03:56:13
    JAA
    I bet you think that anyone who doesn't agree with the gay lifestyle is a "homophobe," right?
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