Obama authorizes benefits for federal employees

Timothy Kincaid

June 2nd, 2010

President Barack Obama is limited by federal law from treating the domestic partners of federal employees as spouses. However, his counsel has identified specific benefits which he can elect, as Executive, to offer.

Today the President issued a memo directing that such benefits be provided. (Reuters)

Obama said he had directed government agencies to offer a number of new benefits to the families of gay and lesbian federal employees, including family assistance services, hardship transfers and relocation expenses.

His directive builds on a move he made last year to offer healthcare benefits, sick leave and medical evacuation for same-sex partners of federal employees.



June 2nd, 2010

um. I hate to call Reuters wrong . . . but they imply that Obama gave federal workers the right to extend their health care coverage to partners. That is not the case, except for some state department employees ( . . . and I think they’re conflating state department workers with ALL federal workers here, because the state department folks get the “medical evacuation” from foreign countries). And Hillary did that, not Obama (presumably with his blessing).

Also, it was Clinton the First that gave us the right to take sick leave to care for our parnters the family friendly policies – by saying that you could take sick leave for *anyone* that you consider to be a part of your family.


June 2nd, 2010

(Also, my agency already provides those things he authorized today. Maybe this just makes it compulsory for all agencies, but it’s a pretty paltry bag ‘o benes he’s rolling out here)


June 2nd, 2010

WOW, do we , like, get to share the water fountain too?

Joe Brummer

June 2nd, 2010

I am incredibly annoyed about the mainstream media presenting only 1/2 the facts. Same Sex couples will need to pay income tax on the benefits because of DOMA which prevents the IRS from seeing us as married. Many states, like CT and RI, have passed legislative fixes for this on the state level yet only a repeal of DOMA would change this at the IRS level.

For instance, I am the married partner of a state employee allowing me to attend a state university for free, sort of..I would need to pay Federal income tax on the amount of the tuition as if it is income because the IRS cannot recognize it as a benefit but sees it as income. NOT EQUALITY!!!!!

Why is it not being mention that although ss couples will get coverage, it is not equal because heterosexual, married couples do not pay taxes on these benefits but we do.


June 2nd, 2010

“Why is it not being mention that although ss couples will get coverage”

I’m a federal employee, and actually, we *don’t* get healthcare coverage for our spouses now, as the Reuters article implies, and *won’t* get it with this new memorandum (although, yes, of course, if we did get it, we’d have to pay taxes on it).

Neil D

June 3rd, 2010

Those evil democrats. I hate it when they help us. We really need the log cabin republicans to keep them honest.


June 3rd, 2010

Dear Mr. Obama, please stop trying to help us, especially with an Executive Order which will simply be undone with the next president. Either do away with DOMA and DADT, but this piddly “Crap” benefits is not doing us any good.


June 3rd, 2010

The president doesn’t rule by fiat — getting rid of DOMA requires Congressional action, which means we need to work hard to get rid of those members of Congress who support DOMA. And we have to be focused and smart about it. We’ll never get rid of DOMA if we have a Republican majority in either house, so we need to be focused on converting any anti-gay seat (whether held by a Democrat or a Republican) into a seat held by a gay-supportive Democrat.

In the meantime, I’m glad Obama is doing what he can within the confines of the law.


June 3rd, 2010

Real equality may only be delivered by the Supreme Court. Congress hasn’t the balls to do it.

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