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Which benefits is Obama extending to gays and lesbians today, exactly?

I'm holding off really posting on the rumor that Obama is going to sign an Executive Memorandum today extending SOME benefits to the partners of LGBT Federal employees. The reason is, we don't exactly know what he WANTS to extend and what he CAN. DOMA--you know that law his DOJ just defended in very offensive language--prevents him from extending much. NYT says just relocation expenses. WSJ says Healthcare too--and that's on word from an Administration insider. So rather than stoke the rumor fire anymore, I'm waiting and seeing as more leaks.

Here's my take SO FAR though. Even though its JUST a memorandum--so it expires with his presidency--and its JUST limited benefits... and even though he's doing it JUST because of the gay DNC fundraiser that Biden is attending that's turning into a fiasco; I think there is reason to celebrate here.

I'm not a Federal Employee, but if I were, I'd be really happy that this is happening. This is something that I've been asking for and being turned down for despite my years of loyal service to the Federal Government. This is a great day for our LGBT brothers and sisters in Civil Service.

Another reason to be excited is that he's going to add gender identity to the list of classes that can't be discriminated against in Federal hiring. This is monumental news.

So, yes, its none of the 8 promised LGBT action items he promised us, and yes its VERY limited and SHOULD have been an Executive ORDER instead... but lets not throw the baby out with the bathwater here, this is a victory for Federal workers--albeit small. I'm not saying that we forgive and forget, or that we back off, but lets not act like spoiled children here. Our anger is not at this move, its at all of the other moves and NON moves. Lets stay focused here. This doesn't erase the DOJ brief on DOMA. We're thankful for this, but what the hell is he going to do about THAT mess up to FIX IT?


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Chris Geidner: In Iowa, judges are ousted.

Via Chris Geidner's Poliglot blog at Metro Weekly:


In Iowa, which declared Iowa's marriage ban unconstitutional under the state's constitution in 2009, the National Organization for Marriage got one of its first electoral victories this year. The judicial retention elections appear to have resulted in the replacement of all three justices up for a vote this year.

Here, as of 3:35 a.m. and with 1767 out of 1774 precincts reporting, are the Iowa Secretary of State's election results:

Supreme Court Justice David L. Baker
Yes 443437 45.75%
No 525865 54.25%

Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Streit
Yes 442459 45.6%
No 527921 54.4%

Supreme Court Chief Justice Marsha Ternus
Yes 437118 44.99%
No 534486 55.01%

The court was unanimous in its 2009 ruling that Iowa's constitution required marriage equality."

Can we trust Rasmussen anymore?


Happy Hour Roundup will be coming late today. Fortunately, there is lots of news to report on! Unfortunately, there will be no time for me to collect it and send it. Expect it between 5pm and 6pm!