updated 6/2/2010 9:11:05 PM ET 2010-06-03T01:11:05

President Barack Obama is extending child care, medical leave and other benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.

  1. Other political news of note
    1. Animated Boehner: 'There's nothing complex about the Keystone Pipeline!'

      House Speaker John Boehner became animated Tuesday over the proposed Keystone Pipeline, castigating the Obama administration for not having approved the project yet.

    2. Budget deficits shrinking but set to grow after 2015
    3. Senate readies another volley on unemployment aid
    4. Obama faces Syria standstill
    5. Fluke files to run in California

Obama on Wednesday directed federal agencies to immediately begin allowing domestic partners and their children some of the same rights available to spouses and children of employees. That includes child-care services and subsidies, expanded family and medical leave and relocation and other benefits.

Obama's memorandum covers only benefits that can be extended under existing law, without congressional action.

Obama said in a statement that while his directive was an "important step on the path to equality," existing federal law prevented him from taking further action to provide same-sex domestic partners with the same benefits offered to heterosexual married couples.

He called on Congress to swiftly pass a measure that would address that discrepancy.

It's the president's latest step on gay rights. He's also supported a rollback of the military's "don't ask don't tell" that governs gay service members.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments