(NOTE FROM PAM: Atdnext also has a diary up on this topic. I call this a FAIL, albeit a nicely timed and planned one. But what about the rest of the LGBT population that has no partner benefits out here in the real world? Based on the current information we have, the votes aren’t there for ENDA, so then what? The welcome, limited news (it’s up in the air about whether this provides health benefits, it appears not, which is absurd, given that’s the single most important partner benefit to have), will not stop this train, Mr. President; you blew it and this won’t stop the DNC fundraiser protests. You and the party need to know what a mistake it was to use those foul arguments in the DOMA brief. That’s not being a fierce advocate, that’s selling us out in the language of bigots who want us back in the closet, dead and without any rights.)
It was hotter than hell in the South today. I think the actions last week and the ensuing outrage turned up the heat at the White House too.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama plans to extend health care and other benefits to the gay and lesbian partners of federal employees. White House officials say Obama plans to announce decision on Wednesday in the Oval Office. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the president had not yet made the announcement.
The move would give partners of federal employees access to health care and financial benefits such as relocation fees for moves. Officials say Obama would detail more details of the decision on Wednesday.
UPDATE FROM PAM: A heads up from Dallas Principles co-author Paul Yandura via email:
1. Chuck Todd on the Rachel Maddow show said that the benefits will not extend past this administration since it is a “memorandum” not an Executive Order-and will actually expire when Obama leaves office.
2. The Advocate is reporting that the “same sex partner benefits” will not include health benefits or retirement, the only benefit they have identified is relocation costs for a partner. See the quote below from Len Hirsch, President of Federal GLOBE:
“Our analysis has been that it will take an act of Congress for the full suite of benefits such as health benefits and retirement benefits to be provided for same-sex couples and families,” said Leonard Hirsch, president of Federal Globe: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Employees of the Federal Government. Hirsch said the executive branch has the authority to extend a suite of other benefits, which would include things like providing relocation costs for a partner.