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March 12, 2009

Obama faces key test on federal domestic partner benefits

Two different judges of the 9th Circuit US Court of Appeals, who come from very different ideological perspectives, have issued orders that employees of their court are entitled to health benefits for their same-sex partners under the program that insures millions of federal workers.  (The orders were issued not in cases, but in response to grievances by court employees.) 

Now, reports the New York Times, President Obama "is in a tough spot."  If he stands by current federal personnel policy that bars recognition of same-sex relationships, "he risks agitating liberal groups that helped him win election.  If he supports the judges and challenges the [federal 'defense' of] marriage act, he risks alienating Republicans with whom he is seeking to work on economic, health care and numerous other matters."

-- SS

March 12, 2009 | Permalink


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