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Obama to OK Benefits for Same-Sex Partners

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CNN: President Obama will sign a memorandum Wednesday granting health care and other benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees, two senior administration officials said.

The signing will take place in the Oval Office and follows sharp criticism of the president over a Justice Department motion filed last week in support of the Defense of Marriage Act -- which opposes same-sex marriage -- that used the government's interest in opposing incestuous marriages to support its position against same-sex marriage.

Gay and lesbian advocates have also faulted the Obama administration for not moving to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars officials from asking about a service member's sexual orientation but also bars the service member from revealing it.

The president rankled gay advocates before his inauguration when he named megachurch pastor the Rev. Rick Warren to deliver the invocation at his swearing-in. Warren, in an interview with, likened homosexuality to bestiality and incest. He also supported California's Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in that state.

During the Warren controversy, Obama -- who frequently spoke in favor of gay and lesbian rights during the campaign but has said he opposes same-sex marriage -- declared himself "a fierce advocate for gay and lesbian Americans."

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8 comments so far | Post a comment now
Jill June 17, 2009, 10:23 AM

This is a great start! Finally recognizing domestic partnerships (at least in the federal government) for insurance benefits. I hope someday that we will need civil unions (please don’t yell at me- I didn’t say “marriage”) will be commonplace. Everyone has equal rights, regardless of your orientation.

ken June 17, 2009, 9:30 PM

I work for the federal goverment I wonder if I can get health care for my long time live in girl friend.we choose not to be married

Gene June 17, 2009, 9:44 PM

wow! what a role model. First, he kills babies and now he is encouraging homosexuality. what next, Osama? You are a joke and I hope you are impeached before you drive this country’s already almost non-existent morals into the ground.

Chris June 17, 2009, 9:58 PM

They didnt impeach for sending our boys to their death, i doubt they’ll impeach Obama for letting people insure their loved ones…

lee June 17, 2009, 11:54 PM

Equating Osama to Obama is THE most ignorant attempt at indignity I’ve seen in a long time. God forbid, there be rights for all humans, not just the white heterosexual ones. This is a step in the right direction. Not just for equality, but for breaking down the unnecessary walls of ignorance and injustice.

Tash June 18, 2009, 12:08 AM

First and foremost, to each their own!

Second, those boys that were ‘sent to their death’ spoken about in the previous comment, died for YOUR freedom to say the things you do. Each and every military member volunteered to join & serve their country to protect no matter what they have to sacrifice. Does no one remember 9/11 and think that ‘our boys’ were needed where they were sent; to make sure horrible things like that don’t happen again. We were given no other choice at the time! Trust me, I should know what I’m talking about considering I PERSONALLY helped defend each & every one you. Unless you’ve been there, done that, and seen the things we’ve seen…there’s nothing else to say. I’m tired of people bringing up the military, thinking they are defending them when in all reality, they honestly don’t even know what they’re talking about. We are proud & honored to be defending our homeland! If you are one who has lost a loved one in this terrible fight, then my thoughts & prayers go out to you. Try not to be so resentful and remember, you should be more proud than anything.

Third, I wasn’t raised in the belief of same-sex relationships further than a friendship. Yet, over time as I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to have my own opinions about it…as does everyone. Though I am not gay/lesbian myself, I have several WONDERFUL friends who are. If I am not mistaken, they are as human as any other person & deserve every bit the benefits the rest of us get. Who are ANY OF US to judge another person for the way they live. NONE of us are in a position to be casting a stone at anyone. For I’m sure we can find some ghosts in just about anyone’s closet that they don’t want anyone to see or know about. Just because your beliefs don’t agree with the way others believe, doesn’t mean we can’t just agree to disagree & leave it be. Tsk Tsk on those who close their minds to society.

ajay June 18, 2009, 12:15 AM

this is all bullshit…..disgusting… stuff

Elles June 18, 2009, 12:43 AM

If health benefits are extended to partners of homosexual persons then are they also extended to partners of heterosexuals, because I don’t see it as fair if it isn’t.

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