Yesterday, the big announcement that John Berry had said Obama would be announcing came out: Benefits will be extended to same-sex partners of all federal workers. (You can read the story at CNN)
Good news right! Well, we had thought so. However, he has decided not to extend to same-sex partners full health benefits, because that would be too expensive. Further, his is only signing this as a memorandum and not an executive order (so it expires with his presidency rather than being a permanent fixture in the law). So what that tells me is Obama is saying to to gay community (or at least those who work for the government of which he leads), ‘I believe you should have al of the same rights as heterosexual couples, unless they cost too much money, then you are out of luck, sorry.’ Is that really how this Administration this of its gay constituents?
Well, to make matters worse, Obama had planned to sign the memorandum today. And, yet again, he rescinded that promise, pushing the signing back until tomorrow.
Are you ready for some conveniently staged political news from the White House? From the White House:
“In the evening, the President will deliver brief remarks and sign a Presidential Memorandum regarding federal benefits and non-discrimination in the Oval Office. This event is pooled press.”
This is absurd! This is nothing more than a political ploy aimed at quieting the civil unrest of the gay community in order to realign them with the issues he actually cares about. He knows the major gay rights groups have pulled out of the Democratic National Convention, and this is the Administration’s pathetic attempt to get back those pink dollars.
Also, this manner of politicking is belittling the gay rights cause and the gay community as a whole. We will not be contented with your pathetic offerings of meager benefits while you promise they are necessary stepping stones on the long road to full equality.
President Obama, this sad attempt at offering partial equality may be “too litte, too late” at this point. We deserve full equality, we deserve the promises you once offered America, and we deserve all of them–NOW!