White House Issues Memorandum on Extension of Benefits to Same-Sex Domestic Partners of Federal Employees

Earlier yesterday, I reported that next month, same-sex partners of federal employees can begin applying for benefits. Late yesterday, a memo came from the White House:

Said OPM Director John Berry with regard to the memo: "This is another major step forward for gay and lesbian federal employees. But it’s also a good business practice — this will help us retain valuable employees and better compete with other employers for top talent. President Obama has stated clearly that this is an issue of equality. But just as important, youth today, LGBT or not, see these benefits as a litmus test for determining high quality employers."

As Americablog notes: "Today's memo explains which benefits those are. (Hint: Don't get too excited. Health benefits still aren't included, but we're glad the furor we created help some federal employees get some benefits.)

DOMA still prevents the granting of full benefits (and the Obama administration continues to defend DOMA in the courts.)"

Obama made note of that in a statement with the memo:

"While this Memorandum is an important step on the path to equality, my Administration continues to be prevented by existing Federal law from providing same-sex domestic partners with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. That is why, today, I renew my call for swift passage of an important piece of legislation pending in both Houses of Congress—the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act. This legislation, championed by Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, would extend to the same-sex domestic partners of Federal employees the full range of benefits currently enjoyed by Federal employees’ opposite-sex spouses. I look forward to signing it into law."

As do we.


  1. says

    Obama is a two faced liar. How can he make this statement “my Administration continues to be prevented by existing Federal law from providing same-sex domestic partners with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.” while his DOJ aggressively defends that “existing federal law” in court? Instead of the domestic partner bill crap, why doesn’t he push to repeal DOMA like he promised instead of defending it by comparing gay people to pedophiles? Then both federal AND private sector employees would be able to extend their health benefits to their spouses. Furthermore, wouldn’t any legislation such as the Baldwin act contradict DOMA? But then I’m sure he really doesn’t give a damn about pesky details (or the truth) anyway.

  2. walter says

    boy the administration gives and the administration takes. this group is so good at saying one thing and doing the opposite.i can’t remember the last administration that did this much to uphold federal laws that they like.if they knew they couldn’t do it under law why say anything? does anyone in this adminstration actually say what they mean? the administration would like to do this but it is against the law. it is against the law because the adminstration hasn’t worked to reverse it. complai about the repuks but we know which side of the fence they are on. with this group they are getting splinters from the fence rails.

  3. Michael @ LeonardMatlovich.com says

    Worse still, that gay high school newspaper, The Advocate, reports that:

    “some agencies, like the intelligence agencies and financial regulatory agencies, have greater discretion in establishing terms and conditions of employment, including the benefits available to their employees. Some have used that authority to provide health insurance, dental and vision insurance, life insurance, and other benefits to the same-sex partners of their employees.”

    But its reporters apparently failed to invest the time to find out HOW this is possible when Obama says it isn’t and they didn’t even mention that Lambda Legal is SUING the director of the Office of Personnel Management…top [White] House Fagroe John Berry for DEFYING A COURT ORDER to let a lesbian federal court employee, Karen Golinski, get insurance for her partner of 20 years EVEN THO the judge has said it would NOT violate DOMA…and it wouldnt’ cost the government ANOTHER CENT!


    “The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (“OPM”) then interfered, however, directing Karen’s insurer to defy Judge Kozinski’s orders and not enroll Amy in Karen’s family health plan. President Obama’s administration has continued aggressively to defy Kozinski’s orders, while also refusing to offer its legal arguments in court. Repeated conversations with administration attorneys and representatives have yielded no progress, leaving us to wonder – where is the “fierce advocate” for LGBT rights that President Obama promised us? The administration made its case during the health care debate about the need to have more people in group health plans-the very solution it so vigorously denies Karen.

    After OPM flouted no fewer than four court orders from Judge Kozinski, we were forced to initiate an enforcement case in federal court.”

    Obambots and gay “Good Germans” are always saying re the ODOJ’s defense in court of DOMA and DADT, continue discharges, ad nauseum, that Obama Inc. weally weally wants to do the right thing, but they “have to follow the law.”

    Well, the Golinski case proves there is something far more rotten in DC than cheese in the summer sun. Here’s the PERFECT opportunity for them to DO the right thing by letting her and other gay OPM employees get medical insurance for their partners, even without adding to government cost, and SAY, should they be attacked by the Right, we’re just following the judge’s order, and they REFUSE.

    Just like they continue to refuse to act upon the 9th Circuit ruling in “Witt v. USAF” that is more than a YEAR AND A HALF OLD which SHOULD [until her case is finally decided] bar ANY discharges of any service member in AK, AZ, CA, GU, HI, ID, MP, MT, NV, OR, WA.

    There are over 200,000 service members stationed in California alone. One of the gays the ruling would have applied to was August Provost, the sailor at Camp Pendleton murdered at his guard post by a military nut case who had stormed onto the base hoping to set fire to it. [Despite early suspicions, it apparently was not in any way a hate crime.]

    Victor Fehrenbach, was recommended for discharge AFTER that ruling, and, apparently, in violation of it because he’s stationed in Idaho.

    The head of our new Fourth Branch of Government, SECDEF Robert Gates promised Feb. 2nd that how they were going to implement the court’s ruling would be a part of his announcements 45-days later.

    Still waiting.

  4. Gesatpo says

    I hope Obama loses in 2012 to a republican so you fags can really see how ungrateful some of you fucktards really are.

    Or maybe you can find a way to vote Bill Clinton back in. Since you don’t have a problem with eating WHITE BREAD CRUMBS!

  5. Jay Croce says

    If you ask me, his memorandum looks like lipstick on a pig.

    I truly wish I could be grateful for small favours. But as long as DOMA and DADT remain the law of the land, we will continue to be second-class citizens. Giving Federal workers a few perks that the rest of us don’t enjoy, only serves to highlight the injustices that Gays in the U.S. have so long endured. Would President Obama be so proud of a directive that gave benefits to Black Federal employees, but not to ALL Black citizens? I don’t think so. But then, he’s only half Black. So maybe he’d only be half as disappointed as we are.

    “You do not examine legislation in the light of the benefits it will convey if properly administered, but in the light of the wrongs it would do and the harms it would cause if improperly administered.” ~ Lyndon B. Johnson

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