June 2nd, 2010
07:26 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama orders more benefits for same-sex partners of federal workers

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/06/02/art.getty.obama.jpg caption="President Obama ordered executive-branch agencies to extend benefits to employees' same-sex partners."]

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday ordered executive-branch agencies to extend to employees' same-sex partners the same benefits provided to their opposite-sex partners, to the extent allowed by law.

The move followed up on Obama's memorandum last year that extended some benefits to same-sex partners of government workers and ordered federal agencies to review additional benefits that also could be available under existing laws.

"That process has now concluded, and I am proud to announce that earlier today, I signed a memorandum that requires executive agencies to take immediate action to extend to the same-sex domestic partners of federal employees a number of meaningful benefits, from family assistance services to hardship transfers to relocation expenses," Obama said in a statement.

Since taking office in January 2009, Obama has called for the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy that bans openly gay and lesbian soldiers from military service.

Under criticism from gay rights activists for a lack of progress on the issue, congressional Democrats pushed for legislative action that led to a recent compromise with the White House and the Pentagon on a conditional repeal once the military completes a review on how to implement the change.

The compromise language has passed the House and the Senate Armed Services Committee, with a full Senate vote expected in coming weeks.

The president also has urged Congress to pass the Domestic Partners Benefit and Obligations Act, which would extend family benefits now available to heterosexual federal workers to gay and lesbian federal workers as well.

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. Cynthia - Arkansas

    Thank God we have a president that understands to struggles of others. It is about time we got into the 21st Century and quit letting the narrow minded, mean-spirited people set the rules in the country.

    Why would be allow ANY group of law abiding citizens in this country to be treated differently. Hopefully we are making strides to make this country truly the greatest.

    June 2, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  2. Paul H

    Now anyone can claim homosexuality and get benefits for buddies, or gal friends. I'm sure nobody is going to take advantage of these benefits!

    June 2, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  3. Denise MacColeman

    It's a shame that most states won't allow benefits to opposite sex domestic partners when living together without the benefit of marriage. You think this is a plus for America?

    June 2, 2010 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  4. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    President Obama makes tough decisions that no other administration had the balls to do because they prefer making war.

    June 2, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  5. BloomingtonBoy

    A day late and a dollar short. Typical for Obama.

    June 2, 2010 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  6. John

    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! It's long overdue that we do what's right for our citizens of this great nation.

    June 2, 2010 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  7. Stacie

    Yippee! Welcome to the 21st Century federal government. My company has been offering domestic partner benefits for a long time now, and the world as we know it hasn't ended. We just have happier employees who don't have to worry as much anymore.

    June 2, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  8. Jeff In Ohio

    Excellent Mr. President!

    June 2, 2010 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  9. duckbutter

    drip ... drip,,, drip,,,another crack in our ounce proud country....

    June 2, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  10. JES

    Anything else you want added to our already debt ridden third world country.

    June 2, 2010 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  11. Liberal have no morals

    They don't deserve any benefits. How about the families of servicemembers and veterans and the benefits not being received. It took my wife 12 years after she got out of the Marine Corps until she received her Education benefits! I guess courage, honor, and duty aren't priorities anymore. But the priority is political correctness and ensuring that you get the gay vote for November and in 2012. This administration will need all the votes they can get.

    June 2, 2010 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  12. southern cousin

    Thank god, this president can find something he thinks is important that he can actually hanlde. Of course, it will turn out to be a disaster, but the man of action is acting in a way that will affect the lives of millions of hard working Americans, not necessarily in a good way, but that is the inept liberal way.

    June 2, 2010 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  13. terry,va

    We are quickly becoming the most immoral, biggest nanny state the world has ever seen. Our founding fathers are rolling over in their grave. We are on the path that the Roman Empire was on and will likely end up as they did.

    June 2, 2010 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |