Obama reiterates support for domestic benefits bill
President Obama reiterated his support for legislation moving through the House and Senate that extends full domestic benefits to the unmarried partners of gay and lesbian federal employees.
A University of Tampa student asked Obama about his position on equal rights for same sex couples, noting that he had expressed support for a repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" during his State of the Union Address.
Obama said he hopes Congress passes the legislation this year:
I think that we've got to -- we actually have an opportunity of passing a law that's been introduced in Congress right now, and my hope is this year we can get it done, just for federal employees and federal workers. A lot of companies, on their own, some of the best-run companies have adopted these same practices. I think it's the right thing to do and it makes sense for us to take a leadership role in ensuring that people are treated the same.
Look, if you are -- regardless of your personal opinions, the notion that somebody who's working really hard for 30 years can't take their death benefits and transfer them to the person that they love the most in the world and who has supported them all their lives, that just doesn't seem fair. It doesn't seem right. And I think it's the right thing to do.
Obama signed a memo in June that extended some domestic benefits to unmarried partners and stated his full support for a bill by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) that extends full benefits. Similar versions of the bill have cleared House and Senate committees. Neither chamber has scheduled a vote on the measure.
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| January 28, 2010; 5:08 PM ET
Categories: 44: Obama's Washington, Workplace Issues
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