WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama will sign a memorandum Wednesday granting health care and other benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees, two senior administration officials said.
The signing will take place in the Oval Office and follows sharp criticism of the president over a Justice Department motion filed last week in support of the Defense of Marriage Act - which opposes same-sex marriage - that used the government's interest in opposing incestuous marriages to support its position against same-sex marriage.
Gay and lesbian advocates have also faulted the Obama administration for not moving to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bars officials from asking about a service member's sexual orientation but also bars the service member from revealing it.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Tonight, a key member of the CNN political team will add an award to her already long list of honors.
Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley will be among the honorees at the Women's Media Center's first annual Media Awards at the Sackler Foundation in New York City.
Crowley is being honored by the WMC for her outstanding political coverage during the 2008 election.
CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour will also be honored tonight at the event.
The Women's Media Center was founded in 2005 by Gloria Steinem, Jane Fonda and Robin Morgan to promote women in the media.
Earlier this month, Crowley was also honored in New York City at the 34th annual Gracie Awards. She accepted a Gracie Allen Award from the Foundation of American Women in Radio and Television in the outstanding feature/hard news program category for her coverage of Hillary Clinton's White House bid.
(CNN) – After days of being criticized for an off-color joke about the daughter of Alaska's Republican Gov. Sarah Palin, late night TV talk show David Letterman got a vote of support from a fellow comedian.
Bill Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time," called the apology that Letterman issued Monday "a real shame."
"David Letterman should not have had to apologize," Maher told CNN's Wolf Blitzer on The Situation Room. "I've known David Letterman a long time."
"He's a very fundamentally decent Midwesterner. It's just not in his DNA to have said something that they're accusing him of saying," Maher added.
"It was an easy and obvious joke to make. It was funny. It was not offensive in any way," the HBO host said after detailing his take on the circumstances leading up to Letterman's controversial joke. "And they made it sound like he said something completely different. So he's apologizing for something he never meant, never thought, and never said."
Related: Palin accepts Letterman's apology
"I've been through this," Maher told Blitzer. "It stinks."
Maher's show appears on HBO, a sister network of CNN that also is owned by Time Warner.
The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.
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CNN: Obama to OK benefits for same-sex partners of federal workers
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