Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Presidential Memo Extends Benefits to Same-Sex Partners

Today, President Obama signed a presidential memorandum extending limited benefits to same-sex partners of federal workers.

President Obama acknowledged that under current law (referring to the Defense of Marriage Act) full benefits could not be given to same-sex partners of federal workers. The President then announced his support of a bill entitled the Domestic Partner's Benefits and Obligations Act which would "guarantee these rights for all federal employees".

The President pledged to overturn the Defense of Marriage Act, saying that he believed it to be discriminatory and that it interfered with state's rights.

In stating that the memorandum he signed today would pave the way for, "long overdue progress in our nation's pursuit of equality," the President was in a sense echoing the sentiment of the California Supreme Court in its same-sex marriage decision of 2008 (In Re Marriage) in which the Court essentially noted that because all other benefits had been granted to same-sex couples, the state demonstrated that it had no vested interest in not allowing same-sex couples to exist as families, and hence should be granted the right of marriage.

TwoMinuteBriefing believes that the President is correct in saying that the signing of this memorandum today begins the paving of the road that will move us in the direction of granting full rights, including marriage, to same-sex couples at the federal level.

To read the CNN coverage of this story, click here.
To read the ABC News coverage of this story, click here.

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