[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/06/17/obama.gay.critics/art.obama.townhall.afp.jpg caption="Some critics say President Obama has let the gay community down."]
President Obama's decision to grant some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees is seen by some as his attempt to extend an olive branch to the gay and lesbian community, but critics say it's "too little, too late."
"It seems to me at least to be a nice gesture, but a disappointment," said Richard Kim, a senior editor at The Nation magazine.
The memorandum Obama is signing Thursday is not expected to grant health and retirement benefits to same-sex partners, as that is prohibited under the Defense of Marriage Act.
"It will absolutely be seen as something good - but I think, for example, it not including full health insurance - that is going to put a real microscope on that question. You know, why not?," Kim said, adding that memo applies only to federal employees, so most people will not be affected by it.
Charles Moran, the spokesman for the Log Cabin Republicans said the lack of full benefits in Thursday's memorandum shows a lack of commitment to the gay community.
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