Obama responds on gay issues | Arkansas Blog

Obama responds on gay issues

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I've enjoyed blogging because of instant publication. Sometimes events move too fast for a daily newspaper, never mind a weekly one. For this week's print edition, I'd written a column, which I just posted early, about some dissatisfaction with President Obama's non-delivery on campaign statements, including a big zero on bringing gay people into full citizenship.

I'll be at least slightly outdated by events. The president is expected to sign an order extending some benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees. Not health benefits, which is the big one, however. The president remains reluctant, apparently, to do much, fearful it will harm other parts of his agenda. If not now, when?

UPDATE: Kos post indicates Obama might as well not bother. Relocation assistance? BFD.

UPDATE II: Obama's order for some limited perks drew a tepid response. Typical was that from People for the American Way:

 

President Obama today signed a presidential memorandum granting a limited number of benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees and reiterated his promise to work to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA.)  People For the American Way President Michael B. Keegan issued the following statement:
 
“During the campaign, then-candidate Obama spoke eloquently about the importance of ensuring that all Americans are treated with dignity and respect.  He made specific pledges to pass hate crimes legislation, enact laws to prevent workplace discrimination, end Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and repeal DOMA.  Since then, we’ve been waiting for concrete results.  Today’s presidential memorandum is a very small step in the right direction, but it’s a token, and tokens are no longer enough.  DOMA stands in the way of real progress for same-sex couples now denied federal recognition and protection, and its repeal is long overdue.
 
“President Obama has a unique ability to provide the moral leadership to ensure that all Americans are treated equally under the law, but so far he has failed to exercise it.  We urge the president to live up to his own rhetoric about being a ‘fierce advocate’ for gay and lesbian Americans.  Taking action on his pledge to repeal DOMA would be worthy of the vision that he held out to Americans during his campaign.”
 
People For the American Way is helping activists tell President Obama and Congressional leaders to “Dump DOMA.”  You can find the petition here.

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