President Obama may be backing down on his promise to repeal Don’t Ask/Don’t Tell (DADT), the ban on gays serving openly in the military, and he may be silent about the plight of gays in Iran, but his Administration has is about to do one thing which will benefit gay and lesbian Americans. He will sign today a “presidential memorandum . . . extending benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.”
It’s about time. Kudos, Mr. President.
This is part of a package of
small, quiet moves to extend benefits to gays and lesbians. The State Department has promised to give partners of gay and lesbian diplomats many benefits, such as diplomatic passports and language training.
It’s not yet entirely clearly the extent of the benefits offered and whether this will include health benefits, but it does appear to be a step–and a big one–in the right direction. I’m wondering if there is statutory authority for the Administration to extend such benefits so am eager to see the details to be released later today.
This may not turn out to be much, but it is, at they very least, an important gesture and a commitment by the federal government to recognize same-sex relationships.
UPDATE (06/17, 5:30 EST): I was optimistic when I first read about this before going to bed Tuesday evening, but found that there’s far less than meets the eye. It seems that, like much which comes from this President there’s a lot of highfaluting rhetoric, but little actual substance.
Shows you when happens when you try to give certain Democrats credit.