Comments

  1. henry says

    I’m still as much of an Obama supporter as you can be in light of his actions (or inactions), but this is way too little. Not too late though: hopefully this is a just a taste of what’s to come. I can’t imagine the administration thinks that the extension of benefits to federal employees is enough to placate a deeply insulted community.

  2. el polacko says

    they’ve attacked us twice in the courts on both DADT and DOMA, but some people get health benefits..whoop-di-doo… lots of private companies have been doing this for years. talk about throwing (some of)us a bone ! this is the ‘exciting’ news we were promised ??.. and just in time for his big push for his health plan.. wow, what a coincidence !

  3. says

    Sounds a bit hypocritical unless he’s including the repeal of DADT in this. Somehow I doubt those federal employees who serve in uniform are going to be able to use these new benefits.

  4. bkmn says

    1. Flies in the face of DOMA
    2. Doesn’t apply to the military
    3. Doesn’t address the administration’s defense of DOMA comparing us to pedophiles and incest
    4. Step up to the podium and make yourself clear…we’ve heard the double talk
    5. Too little, too late (how many LGBT people are affected by this announcement?)

  5. mikevenice says

    Yeah, and these benefits are taxed at a much higher rate than spousal benefits — for my partners benefits, I have to pay tax (about $400 every 4 months) while married couples are not required to pay this tax. Sorry Obama, FAIL!

  6. says

    Maddow had Chuck Todd on. He said that this is a memorandum, not an executive order, and that he “believe[s]” that means this decision would go POOF as soon as a new administration is in. That means either the next president would have to resign this… or could be free from making the homophobic signature of bigotry by signing his or her own executive order to end the policy.

    Even when Obama tries to help us, he screws us over!!!!!! Way more than a day late and a dollar short. This is just not excusable or enough or something that will appease any decent gay person or ally.

  7. says

    Hey, it’s still great news. I’m happy to hear it. At a time when Obama’s every action is being parsed for its potentially insulting subtext, a plain old positive thing should not be overlooked.

    But agreed, if this is meant as an olive branch, it’s just a li’l twig. I think he’d have a better shot with a sincere speech in which he reiterated his campaign promises and actually laid out some sort of timeline.

    And acknowledged and apologized for the DOJ brief.

    But…still glad he is doing this.

  8. Matty says

    But it’s not to ALL Federal employees…

    My partner is active duty military, and I’m a veteran. Unless I’m going to magically be able to go to the base medical office or shop at the commissary for groceries, unless I’m going to receive my partner’s retirement benefits if he should God forbid die before me, I don’t think my partner’s benefits apply to our situation.

    Without the repeal of DADT and DOMA, it’s an empty and incomplete offer.

  9. Martha says

    Obama was always a master at damage control and PR tactics. He’s not so good on duplicity, transparency and insensitivity though.

    I hope Obama is shelved in 2012.
    Fuck the Dems. The party is OVER.

  10. BillyBoy says

    So americablog is griping because the prez is doing something good but he didn’t promise to do it during the campaign? So that doesn’t count somehow?

  11. Paul R says

    I’m slightly surprised that, aside from civilian-military distinctions, the federal government was allowed to give different rights to different employees (meaning, State Dept. got these rights earlier than other federal employees).

    I agree with Matthew, this is good. But I also agree that it’s barely a start. I assume the administation is responding to all the LGBT criticisms of recent weeks and is using this as a trial balloon to see how “average” Americans react. (One bright side is that this could greatly expand these benefits at the state and county levels, etc.)

  12. PSUGUY says

    Wow, one PR nightmare with the gay community and we get a token to appease us. It seems as if this was too easy to do MONTHS ago, and we are only getting it now because the president equated homosexuality to incest. I am not buying it!!!!!! I was a true blooded Obama supporter since 04…. but now….. HILLARY HILLARY 2012!!!

  13. BillyBoy says

    1. The DOJ never mentioned incest or pedophilia. That’s just nonsense. There’s a lot of manufactured hysteria here.

    2. Chuck Todd explicitly said he DID NOT KNOW what the difference between an executive order and a memorandum is. Yet someone si upset based on some guessing that he did and then took back. Maybe you should wait and find out what the story is.

    3. This action does not fly in the face of DOMA. Anyone who thinks that hasn’t read DOMA…and it’s about 150 words long! And if it dod, why would that be a complaint against it?

  14. Kevin says

    While I think that is a good “twig,” the President is also lifting the “curtain on his long-anticipated plan to reorder how banks and other firms are regulated in the hope of preventing another financial collapse” (CNN Ticker) tomorrow. What do you think the mainstream press if going to cover?

  15. FunMe says

    Can Obama dig himself a deeper hole?
    It sure looks like it?

    He thinks we are stupid and will be appeased with the freaking inaction? What a JOKE Obama has become. And it’s barely 6 months. He has become a FRAUD of the 1st degree. And probably a homophobe.

    Gee Obama, you should pissed us off even more.

    If you are not re-elected it will be your own fault not ours.

    I can’t stand even seeing photos of him right now.

  16. says

    You’re right, BillyBoy, the case used incestuous relationships as precedence as precedence to justify denying standing to our relationships. That’s completely different than comparing our relationships to incest.

    Enough with the naive bs, peeps.

  17. Chrissypoo says

    Do you think somewhere in the White House some young assistant is running into the Rahm Emmanual’s office saying, “The Gays Are Revolting!” Rahm just lifts up his head and says, “tell me about it.”

  18. Bruno says

    It’s a transparently quick way to toss us a bone, which would be fine until we discover that it really amounts to very little, if we’re to believe what The Advocate says.

    At this point, anything short of our FULL equal rights has Obama lacking in my eyes anyway.

  19. Double N says

    Hmmm….Thats it? Domestic partner benefits for federal employees? This is how he reacts when we screamed over the DOJ memo on DOMA?

    Sorry, Pres-O, but its not enough.
    I urge EVERY ONE OF YOU to write , email or call the President. His contact info is posted on whitehouse.gov.

    I have already done so. I also wrote to my Senator.

    I may not be the “BIG GAY PRIDE” homo, but I am an out gay man, and I deserve my rights!

  20. Rafael says

    Hearing this, I’m the more outraged, if it is this easy to change failed policies, then what is holding the President back from doing the right thing? where the hell are your principles Mr. President. I’m beyond pissed.

  21. Godfrey says

    I think we need a facts check guys!

    1. If anybody thinks that Obama has been a joke so far, I suggest you get your head checked!

    2. Obama has been overwhelmed by the depth of the problems left to his administration by Bush et. al.., and according to reliable sources his administration is not fully staffed as of yet-so the slip ups. So let us give him a bit of a break.

    3. Extending federal benefits is a BIG DEAL! The next step has to be revocation of DOMA.

    Keep the facts coming and not the BULLSHIT!

  22. Rafael says

    Godfrey – I don’t mean to be rude or anything but comments like yours really hit a nerve, do you really think that anyone will listen to you as long as you keep excusing everything and everyone from their commitments. I have zero respect for fellow gays who impose this kind of bullshit onto others. Peace.

  23. vbeast says

    This is even less than it seems. Remember that for the last 20 years government has been hiring contractors (who hire subcontractors until no accountability is maintained) to do a lot of what should be government employee’s work. Unless this covers contractors too, the scope of even this will be underwhelming. I echo the comments of those who point out the benefits are taxed (because of DOMA). Phooey!

  24. Paul R says

    @Randy:

    “Obama just needs to grow a pair! I know queers with more balls than him!”

    Umm, I should hope so. Most queers I know are a hell of a lot more willing to fight than is a politician.

  25. DaveO says

    @VBeast It is more likely that any company that is being contracted by the federal government already offers far more inclusive DP benefits than that which the Obama administration is planning to offer.

  26. el polacko says

    umm… slight update: apparently, gay employees will NOT be receiving health benefits nor survivor benefits because DOMA does not recognize gay ‘families’ nor ‘spouses’. the only benefit available to gay employees will be relocation expenses… WOW.. that makes up for EVERYthing !!!

  27. Clay says

    There are a few different possibilities/interpretations re: this move, I won’t speculate as to which may be correct.
    This may be a pathetic afterthought (“oh yeah the gays”) It may be a cynical bone thrown out to keep us quiet. It may be a signal that our community hasn’t been forgotten and that perhaps there’s more become. It may be the first of a new series of positive steps.

    Given that repealing DADT requires congressional legislation and that there are 2 wars going on, I’m a realist about that schedule, but even I, a big Obama booster, have been greatly disappointed by the lack of action in those areas where action could in fact be taken now. This Executive Order, if it comes, is the kind of positive step I’ve been looking for. But it should have come sooner and I tend toward the view that recent expressions of anger and protest have been more or less directly responsible for it. Hopefully the White House has taken note and is about to be come more active, We’ll see.

    One point of detail re: Executive Orders. They do not in fact automatically expire with a change in administration, but they can be overturned by a future Executive Order. Most times the EO is simply left in place. The example I know best is Executive Order 10450, signed by Ike in 1953, which officially classed gays as security risks. That order remained in effect formally/technically, though gradually chipped at, I think until Clinton’s first term.

    Re: extending different rights to different couples, the Federal Gov is exempted from a range of workplace laws and regulations (including parts of OSHA) by law. It gets to set its own rules re: staffing, etc.

    Side note: I have read, but have no way of knowing myself, that Rahm Emmanuel in particular prefers to avoid spending time/resources on gay issues. Anyone know anything about that?

  28. Dave says

    Obama isn’t giving anything. He’s been withholding this since March:
    http://www.cnsnews.com/public/content/article.aspx?RsrcID=45068
    This was already given in the Omnibus Spending Bill that happened months ago, but until now Obama refused to give what Congress already passed months ago. Congress is the one who did the work and despite that it takes a major backlash before he allows for what Congress had already given. Think about it…if he was doing something new, how did Hilary do what she did in the State department before this?

  29. Cyd says

    “To all of those gay Americans whose money I took and to whom I promised so much, here’s a bone for you to chew on. Enjoy, because you won’t be getting another one for the rest of the year.”

  30. Jordan says

    Crumbs from the table of our ‘benevolent’ master. Something to keep us complacent.

    What’s this, everyone? You’re shocked that you’ve been lied to? Used? Exploited? Were you really that naive to begin with? Have you never bothered to study government through the ages?

  31. says

    It’s just a sop thrown to those of us in the LGBT community but it’s still not what we’re looking for. Close but no cigar.

    Meanwhile, assholes like John Ensign make a mockery of traditional marriage even as they’re working to keep us from marrying whomever we want.

    Yep, another Goddamned Republican sex scandal. Only get a load of the religious organization to which John Ensign belongs.

    And these people are setting themselves up as our moral arbiters? Puh-leaze.

  32. bbg372 says

    I am sick of being a second-class citizen, in my country, and in my community; benefits for 18,000 same-sex couples in the state of California, and now, for federal employees, but none for the rest of us?

  33. BMF says

    This is amazing. I see all this stuff about how queers are so ready to fight. I was at a luncheon today that honored John Lewis. A guy that was beaten and arrested numerous times in the cause of freedom. I haven’t seen anything like the actions of Lewis, the Freedom Riders, and those that fought in the Civil Rights Movement from the gay community as a whole. And when there is something positive, all that happens is complaining. It’s no wonder LGBTs are behind. Can we at least say, this is a STEP forward. It’s not where we need to be, but we are glad that progress is being made Mr. President. We continue to expect you to move forward with our agenda, but want to say that we are delighted that this historic step is occurring.

  34. The Phoenix says

    I give up. The majority of you faggots don’t deserve anything but a good beat down anyway.

    You’re still not ready to sacrifice your lives but pretty soon you won’t have much of a choice and by then it’ll be much too late.

    As a movement, you’re still TOO divided, TOO acquiescent and TOO cowardly. You’ve spent years fighting for the right to sleep with as many as you wanted instead of whom you wanted. You argue about taking back the word queer for yourself when you should be arguing about taking back the word homosexual for yourself.

    You reap what you sow and if this is the best you can do, to whine, march and beg then I won’t continue to be a part of it because I have my own agenda to pursue.

    MLK and marchers didn’t gain anything but a day in his honor. It was the radicals like the Panthers and the Weather Underground that had them running scared and until there is some militancy in the ranks you’ll get only scraps from the table.

    Good luck ’cause you’re gonna need it.

  35. Anastasia Beaverhausen says

    Will that include extending IRS and Social Security recognition to Federal employees? If not, why not? If so, then how does he justify one IRS code and set of SSI rules for Federal employees and another IRS code and SSI rules for the rest of us? And aren’t Defense Department employees Federal? Then how do the troops get their spousal benefits without repeal of DADT? Oh, not ALL Federal employees, then. And what about Federal employees who are forced to relocate to another state (a park ranger or USDA inspector, for example)…they lose their marriage rights but keep their Federal benefits? What if they move to a state that forbids gay adoptive parents…they keep their dependent child’s benefits, but lose the child? Big O didn’t think this one through at all, unless it’s a set-up for a DOMA challenge, but this administration doesn’t seem that bright.

  36. Johnny says

    And administration officials were even quoted as saying this is meant to contain the furor growing in the gay rights groups. They have come right out and admitted it’s damage control, they’re trying to save the DNC fundraiser. Hardly any gay people will get these benefits, compared to the gay population at large, and it’s not going to be anything near what straight federal employees get. And the kool-aid drinkers want us to be so grateful for this crumb. Just stay the fuck out of our way you pacified weasels. Go enjoy some kool-aid in your Obama commemorative mug.

  37. says

    Put me down in the “underwhelmed” column as well. After all, how many of us are partners of federal employees.

    There are a lot more of us out here who these benefits won’t reach, Mr. President. You’re going to need to throw some bigger bones.

  38. elcamino says

    Rahm Emmanual should be invited along to the DNC fundraiser next week to explain (to every GLTB person who voted for Obama) why it the gays have cooties and should never be afforded equality.

    This isn’t the Clinton era circa 1993. So Rahm Emmanual should explain why he’s advising Obama that it is.

  39. Leto says

    Hey White House: Go FUCK yourselves! This is not enough. This is not even a good beginning. Obama should have done this on Inauguration Day! The fact that DOMA will prevent the most important benefit (health coverage) from being granted puts pure hilarity into their futiel attempt to satisfy us since it was his position on DOMA that started this shit. I am ready to be a radical queer and take it to the streets. NO JUSTICE=NO PEACE!

  40. woodroad34 says

    I’m watching the Maddow piece and every photo is of a scowling Obama. And then I start to remember that Obama once said that there needs to be a great outcry from the masses to get Congress to change the law. I wonder if he’s stirring the pot by being inactive to get people angry. The unfortunate thing is that people aren’t getting angry at Congress, they’re focusing all their anger on Obama. Obama can do some things, but Congress is the one who can overturn all the laws they enacted.

  41. Mike says

    “Not expected to cover health benefits”???? Then what exactly is the point. Oh, that is going to be taken care of by single payer. No wait, single payer is languishing… duh! The vast majority of americans support equal rights for gays – this is really a no brainer for him and a no brainer for congress. This is just silly!

  42. says

    Oh, WELL then… THAT makes everything better.

    What were those DOJ statements about incest and sexual predators again? In the healing light of this magnanimous gesture, I can’t seem to recall.

  43. Bart says

    I call Obama a pussy yesterday and I stand by it. This is utter bullshit politics and quite frankly, my feelings towards the man I (was tricked into) voted for is, “Be a man of your word or you’re no man at all.” P.S. — I could take your sorry ass in basketball too.

  44. 2 Tigers says

    Nothing has changed. Those benefits he’s “giving” to partners of LGBT federal workers have been in place since Clinton Administration. Hell, I even think that W threw something in about gay partners being able to collect pension/401K/IRAs on their partner in his last days in the White House.

    If he really wanted to do something as a fierce advocate for our rights, how about repealing Sect 3 of DOMA so same sex partners in a legal/state sanctioned union get the same benefits as a straight married couple (aka recognized union). Don’t piss on my foot & tell me it’s raining…

  45. TylerAnthony says

    Will you girls just stop being so reactionary, just wait until the announcement. From what I read that was just a piece of what was going to happen, didn’t you all read it?!? WTF MOST of you are complainers anyway and won’t lift a finger to anything for yourselves. Wonder how many of you would really get married if you had that freedom.

    to extend health care and other benefits

    White House officials say Obama plans to announce decision on Wednesday in the Oval Office. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the president had not yet made the announcement

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