Well, that’s MY take on Obama’s motives. June is Gay Pride month, which Obama observed last year by tossing an even smaller crumb to gay and lesbian employees. He’s not trying the same gambit this year that he used successfully last year, though — he trumpeted a list of benefits gay and lesbian federal employees would get — and here is the weasel escape clause — as long as they did not violate federal law. Since the 1994 Defense of Marriage Act passed with the support of Democratic President Bill Clinton is federal law and was written to prevent both same-sex marriage AND the incremental enactment of legal rights for lesbians and gays, pretty much everything on the menu Obama and his proxies waved around was never going to be served at the separate and non-equal lunch counter for lesbians and gays. They must have caught onto this trick, or Obama would be using it again.
The San Francisco Gate has Obama’s full statement — the following excerpt is the closing paragraph. I think it reveals that Obama’s true goal is to appease lesbians and gays enough so they stop being so uppity and and quit demanding the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act and the passage of a law that ensures our full equality under the law:
“While this Memorandum is an important step on the path to equality, my Administration continues to be prevented by existing Federal law from providing same-sex domestic partners with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. That is why, today, I renew my call for swift passage of an important piece of legislation pending in both Houses of Congress — the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act. This legislation, championed by Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, would extend to the same-sex domestic partners of Federal employees the full range of benefits currently enjoyed by Federal employees’ opposite-sex spouses. I look forward to signing it into law.”
Why isn’t Obama calling for the swift REPEAL of the Defense of Marriage Act? “Domestic Partnership” is NOT marriage. It is NOT equality. Yo! Obama! Pelosi! Reid! ONLY equality will do!
Update, 6/3/2010, Thurs.: It would not take the military nearly so long to figure out how to implement the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” (DADT) if Congress also repealed the Defense of Marriage Act and enacted legislation ensuring equality for lesbians and gays. Without equality for lesbians and gays, the military services are creating their own separate-and-gallingly-unequal patchwork of who gets what and when.