Equality Is Not A Favor
Word has leaked out that President Barack Obama plans to announce today that he will authorize the extension of benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of federal employees… except for health benefits… and of course, members of the military couldn’t get the benefits, because they would have to admit that they’re homosexual, and then would kicked out of the military, under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, which despite his campaign promises, President Obama has failed to overturn. Then there’s the problem that the Defense of Marriage Act, which Barack Obama just sent his lawyers to court to defend, makes it illegal for same-sex domestic partners to get federal benefits… and the restricted benefits for those few who qualify, could be revoked at any time.
This announcement today was supposed to help Barack Obama repair relations with non-heterosexual Americans, but it just ends up being another insult. Obama is acting as if he can treat GLBT Americans like dirt, and then throw them a tiny little scrap and everything will be forgiven.
This move by Obama shows that he just doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand that the issue is one of equality under the law. It’s a matter of legal rights guaranteed in the Constitution.
Obama thinks he’s doing GLBT Americans a big favor by giving a small number of them a limited number of benefits. What he doesn’t understand is that equality is not a favor that the President can choose to grant if he feels in the mood to do so. Equality under the law is required by the Constitution, and if it isn’t given in full, it isn’t given at all. Obama doesn’t have the right to grant separate and unequal, second-class benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees.
Barack Obama is an idiot if he thinks that gay and lesbian federal employees are going to love and respect him for suggesting that they ought to be grateful for getting a fraction of the legal status that heterosexual Americans take for granted. He’s only going to anger them more.