Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Obama will extend benefits (just some!) to domestic partners of federal workers (incl. DOD civilians); announcement due June 17

Scott Buttermworth has a story in the “Voices” section of the Washington Post late Tuesday June 16, that President Obama will extend federal benefits to unmarried domestic partners of federal workers, including same-sex partners.

The measure would apply to the Defense department’s civilian workers but not to members of the Armed Services in uniform (sometimes they do the same jobs).

The link for the story is here. The president’s announcement will occur tomorrow, Wednesday June 17.

Update: June 17

President Obama's order extends primarily to unpaid family leave (not very effective) and some long term care insurance. The presidents says that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act, signed by President Clinton, prohibits his offering federal health insurance and retirement benefits to unmarried or same-sex domestic partners. The CNN story by Kristi Keck is here.

But then Andrew Sullivan provided Reuters with a story "Obama extends benefits, promises more to gays" here. That's an odd and disturbing (if you think about it) title, suggesting that gays are another victimized group to be bartered against others (like unions). I didn't see this item on Sullivan's "Daily Dish" on the Atlantic, unless I didn't look hard enough. The Reuters story does indicate that the president will urge Congress to repeal those portions of DOMA that he believes to prohibit health insurance and retirement benefits for unmarried domestic partners.

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