Barack Obama is between a liberal rock and conservative hard place. Two federal appeals judges have ruled that court employees have a right to health benefits for their same-sex partners. But, the federal Office of Personnel Management maintains that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) prohibits such benefits.
Benefits are awarded to the spouse of a federal employee, but according to DOMA a spouse must be of the opposite sex. Gay employees say they are denied equal compensation because they cannot extend benefits to their partners. The cost of doing so would be $670 million over 10 years.
The White House has yet to comment on whether it will help the judges enforce their orders, a move that would upset conservative allies. But a spokesman did say that "While the president opposes gay marriage, he supports legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act. He believes this country must realize its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
Do you think benefits should be extended?