Obama's going to come under some major criticism here soon over his promises to LGBT Americans. On the one hand, we have the federal benefits question, brought up by the New York Times:
Just seven weeks into office, President Obama is being forced to confront one of the most sensitive social and political issues of the day: whether the government must provide health insurance benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.On the other hand, we have more soldiers being let go because of Don't Ask Don't Tell:
In separate, strongly worded orders, two judges of the federal appeals court in California said that employees of their court were entitled to health benefits for their same-sex partners under the program that insures millions of federal workers.
But the federal Office of Personnel Management has instructed insurers not to provide the benefits ordered by the judges, citing a 1996 law, the Defense of Marriage Act.
As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama said he would “fight hard” for the rights of gay couples. As a senator, he sponsored legislation that would have provided health benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.
Now, Mr. Obama is in a tough spot. If he supports the personnel office on denying benefits to the San Francisco court employees, he risks agitating liberal groups that helped him win election. If he supports the judges and challenges the marriage act, he risks alienating Republicans with whom he is seeking to work on economic, health care and numerous other matters.
The Army fired 11 soldiers in January for violating the military's policy that gay service members must keep their sexuality hidden, according to a Virginia congressman. Democratic Rep. Jim Moran said he has requested monthly updates from the Pentagon on the impact of the policy until it is repealed.IE: while we wait, people are losing their livelihood for their sexual orientation. What are you going to do, Mr. President?
In a statement released on Thursday, Moran said the discharged soldiers included an intelligence collector, a military police officer, four infantry personnel, a health care specialist, a motor-transport operator and a water-treatment specialist.
"How many more good soldiers are we willing to lose due to a bad policy that makes us less safe and secure?" asked Moran, a member of the House panel that oversees military spending.
...especially if the economy starts improving.