June 17th, 2009
03:31 PM ET

Gay critics say 'too little, too late' from Obama

[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."]

Kristi Keck

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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soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Bunmi

    @ Janet: I think that's a very interesting point.

    As for this, I'm sorry if this is too politically incorrect, but as someone who lives in California and witnessed the after-math of prop-8, I am really beginning to get infuriated with the gay community. Barack Obama never said he would legalize gay marriage, as a matter of fact, he said he opposes it and would only allow for civil unions. The man has been in office for five months–and granted I am not a person who believes people should "wait for civil rights" I think the crumbling economy, the war in Iraq, the issues surrounding the Gitmo detainees, the mounting political pressure from North Korea and Iran, and the health care crises are at the top of his priority list–as they should be!

    June 17, 2009 at 5:55 pm |
  2. Tim Gibson

    This offer is much less than an olive branch and reflects the same attitude of Doug Manchester here in San Diego with his declined offer of money for silence.

    The boat has left and Obama is not on board, in fact he did not even come to the dock to wave farewell to those who no longer stand behind him.

    He waits for Congress, so in the end, when cards may have to be drawn out on the table he can then turn and say, vote for me, my hands were tied on that issue. What happened to change and a promise to make things right? What happened to honor and what happened to an image being more than a campaign stump speech?

    June 17, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  3. Mr Bashment P.W.

    Like my aunt alwas says "a promise is a comfort to a fool".....

    June 17, 2009 at 5:33 pm |
  4. Larry

    What about Obama's campaign promise that those of us that cannot afford a health care program would receive the same health care program which he was receiving as a U.S. Senator? What happened to that promise?

    June 17, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  5. Althea Tremaine

    Oh, and to address Janet, I don't think so. The reason that many LGBTQI aren't married is because it's illegal in most states.

    June 17, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  6. Paul Benjou

    Get it right ... it's GLBT, not GBLT ... we are not sandwiches!

    June 17, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  7. anything but cal ~ hugh

    The world today stinks; when people–whatever group they're from–get help from someone with influence, they still complain like ungrateful brats who demand and want everything NOW!

    June 17, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  8. Althea Tremaine

    I am very disappointed with Obama. One of the main reasons he won my vote was because of what I thought he would do for the LGBTQI community, who continues to be trampled on by our country.

    June 17, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  9. Guy Pennsylvania

    Is it constitutional and discrimiantion to grant federal employees some same-sex benefits. I believe that such an memorandum is wrong, because there is no marriage amongst the couples. benefits are given to people who are married and has kids. The concern now is will the 50 States do likewise, because you cannot hav"t the government authorize this and the State gov't cannot do likewise.

    June 17, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  10. Janet

    I'm all for it, but what about non-married straight partnerships? Will they be entitled to benefits, as well?

    June 17, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  11. Isabel, Brazil

    I always saw the candidates promise many things in times of election campaign, but after being elected, those promises are forgotten.
    Frankly, I hope this is not the first disappointment with President Obama and that he fulfills the promise.

    June 17, 2009 at 4:38 pm |

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