Obama Gives Some Benefits, But Not Health Care, to Same-Sex Couples
President Barack Obama signed legislation Wednesday that extends some benefits, such as dependent-care and visitation rights, to partners of federal employees who are in a same-sex relationship. He did not, however, give them health care -- the big victory they wanted.
The Washington Post reported:
"Obama noted that by law, the government cannot grant gay couples the same range of benefits afforded to heterosexual couples. He said he supports the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, which would further extend benefits to gay couples.
"He also reiterated his opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act: 'It's discriminatory, it interferes with States' rights, and it's time we overturned it,' he said.
"Earlier in the day during a conference call with reporters, Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry said 'This is a first step, not a final step.'"
- State Issues: Information on the various state laws and same-sex 'marriage' litigation in the states, through a clickable map of the states.
- Federal Issues: Information about the federal DOMA and litigation in federal courts, through a clickable map of the federal Circuit Courts of Appeal.
- Current Legal Challenges: Detailed information on pending challenges to state and federal marriage laws, with links to cases and decisions.
- Resources: Additional snapshot summaries (marriage litigation in 2006, state marriage amendments passed to date, etc.)
The Boston Globe reported on another aspect of the issue, saying that same-sex couples can't use their spouse's surname when applying for passports in the U.S.
The Los Angeles Times has published a related fact sheet about non-discrimination and federal benefits.