Another Bait & Switch by Obama? No Fed benefits after all?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 5:29 PM GMT
    Still waiting for the announcement on gay partner benefits in the Federal government, as the White House leaked late yesterday. NBC is saying it's actually just a memoranda to Federal agencies to "report back" to the White House OMB on the issue. WTF??? We are still waiting...

    http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/archive/2009/06/17/1968225.aspx
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 5:52 PM GMT
    So I guess here's the official answer: a little bit of both. Some agencies get health benefits & sick leave for gay partners, other Federal agencies have to review the issue and report back. There's decisiveness for you.

    A leader would lead.

    http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Fact-Sheet-Presidential-Memorandum-on-Federal-Benefits-and-Non-Discrimination/
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 5:54 PM GMT
    not holding my breath. I actually thinking we need Stonewall II in DC, 1 million pissed off Dykes, queers, fairies, muscle boy, leather men, drag queens and friends...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 6:13 PM GMT
    sfinboston saidnot holding my breath. I actually thinking we need Stonewall II in DC, 1 million pissed off Dykes, queers, fairies, muscle boy, leather men, drag queens and friends...

    I could support that. Not that I haven't been part of gay protests and activism before, but one of my great regrets in life was that I missed Stonewall itself in 1969.

    And I was in Manhattan the very moment it was going on, both day & night at one point, but I was mid- and uptown, shopping for things before I went into the US Army less than a week later. I didn't even know anything was happening until I got back home and read the newspapers. If there was something on local TV I can't remember it.

    But I do remember being very angry, because I've always hated police brutality, even if I didn't yet identify as being gay myself. I was so close, just blocks away, and missed the defining moment in gay history in the 20th Century.

    There'll never be another Stonewall in my lifetime, but in compensation I look for other opportunities. If Obama continues as he has, I suspect there will be many more.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 6:26 PM GMT
    It's not really a bait and switch as it has been only hearsay for the last 24 hours and not official. Also this particular item wasn't one of his campaign promises.

    Only 3 more hours until we get the real deal.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 6:36 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidIt's not really a bait and switch as it has been only hearsay for the last 24 hours and not official. Also this particular item wasn't one of his campaign promises.

    Only 3 more hours until we get the real deal.

    I agree, we must wait and see, and why I used a question mark. But the bait was the White House leaks last night that promised a great deal, on the eve of Obama's major announcement on financial regulation today, for which critical distractions were not wanted.

    Now today the financial package has been presented. We will see whether the reality of the Obama policy on gay benefits in Federal government were what we were led to believe last night, that dampened rising gay voices in the media.
  • metta

    Posts: 39169

    Jun 17, 2009 8:37 PM GMT
    sfinboston saidnot holding my breath. I actually thinking we need Stonewall II in DC, 1 million pissed off Dykes, queers, fairies, muscle boy, leather men, drag queens and friends...


    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/555299/
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 8:38 PM GMT
    metta8 said
    sfinboston saidnot holding my breath. I actually thinking we need Stonewall II in DC, 1 million pissed off Dykes, queers, fairies, muscle boy, leather men, drag queens and friends...


    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/555299/


    Shameless promotion, Metta...LOL

    (but thanks for putting the word out!)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 8:49 PM GMT
    Hay you do live in Jesus land, and that is not about to change anytime soon, unless you move to Canada.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 8:52 PM GMT
    I will admit that I do fine it confusing, on how someone could not be aware of their own sexuality until middle age, because sexuality is so innate, well for males anyway. I say that as I feel many women are born bisexual.
  • metta

    Posts: 39169

    Jun 17, 2009 9:41 PM GMT
    John Aravosis



    Is Obama giving federal agencies a right they already have?


    UPDATE: The answer is "yes." I just asked OPM Director John Berry, on a White House media conference call, whether in fact federal agencies already have the right to give these benefits to gay employees. The answer, "yes." So what's new about tonight? Obama is going to "tell" the agencies to give the benefits - as if any agency in the Obama administration would dare tell a gay employee no to a request for time off to attend their partner's funeral?
    __________

    We all now know that President Obama this evening will give some federal agencies the right to give some federal employees some benefits at some time in the future. The problem, as one reader writes, is that federal agencies already have that right, and in fact, are already providing the benefits. So what is President Obama actually giving us?
    Regarding your latest post of the WH Fact Sheet -- here are some important facts that your readers may care to know.

    The para (below) regarding "new" benefits available to domestic partners -- these benefits have been available for YEARS !!!!

    For civil service employees, domestic partners of federal employees can be added to the long-term care insurance program; supervisors can also be required to allow employees to use their sick leave to take care of domestic partners and non-biological, non-adopted children.

    Nothing new here.

    1) See the OPM website which permits long term care to be extended "Qualified Relatives" that includes:
    QUALIFIED RELATIVE- The term ‘qualified relative’ means each of the following:
    The spouse of an individual described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4).
    A parent, stepparent, or parent-in-law of an individual described in paragraph (1) or (3).
    A child (including an adopted child, a stepchild, or, to the extent the Office of Personnel Management by regulation provides, a foster child) of an individual described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4), if such child is at least 18 years of age.
    An individual having such other relationship to an individual described in paragraph (1), (2), (3), or (4) as the Office may by regulation prescribe.
    2) During the Clinton administration -- guidance was requested about whether sick leave could be used to take care of same-sex partners and/children. The answer came back that a federal employee could use their sick leave to take care of, attend doctor appointments, or even attend funerals for anyone who had the "close approximation of family". This was a guidance memo -- not policy -- but it has been available since the mid 1990's. The reason I know this is that I have worked for a DOD Agency for 23 years and even DOD allowed me to take sick leave to care for my partner and my non-bio child.

    What a bunch of nothing.

    Lisa Polyak
    Baltimore, MD

  • metta

    Posts: 39169

    Jun 17, 2009 10:31 PM GMT

    Jennifer Vanasco


    What's not included?

    The stuff that matters.
    Health insurance. Pension access. Survivor benefits. Life insurance. You know, the stuff that the majority of the Fortune 500 has been providing for years (as Berry helpfully pointed out). The stuff people actually want.

    "This is a first step, not the final step," [the openly-gay Office of Personnel Management director] Berry said. "It gets the federal house in order. It's important to do - it's practicing before preaching."

    Well. I wish the White House would stop practicing and would start moving on gay civil rights issues for real.




    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennifer-vanasco/gay-benefits-call-with-be_b_216972.html
  • jarhead5536

    Posts: 1348

    Jun 17, 2009 10:54 PM GMT
    The urge to say "I told you so" is almost irresistable. No wanted to listen to us when we were jumping up and down screaming about McClurkin, Kmiec or Warren. We were overreacting, making mountains out of molehills, stirring up division amongst the constituencies of the Democratic coalition, you name it. Democrats across America were so caught up in the Audacity of Hype that gays were just told to shut up and join the parade stampeding towards electoral victory. Well, some of us were never fooled. Barack Obama did not get my vote in the primaries. We were pandered to in the worst possible ways. I used to think that the McClurkin debacle was pandering to AA religious conservatives but I have come to believe that's where his philosophy is. He doesn't give a shit about us, he only wanted our money and manhours.

    Barack Obama is a great President, we'll see, maybe one of THE great Presidents, but I am not stupid enough to look to him or his Administration for leadership on GLBT issues. I could say, after reading the text of the DOMA brief that he is actually hostile to me and mine, but I will be charitable and say he just doesn't give a rat's ass because too many of his Obama Republicans won't like him anymore if he embraces us.

    "Fierce advocate" my aching ass. Hillary would NEVER have done this to us, not in a million years...
  • pelotudo87

    Posts: 225

    Jun 17, 2009 11:13 PM GMT
    "I don't understand as a black man how he doesn't get our concerns."

    Being half black, I realize that black culture is NOT accepting of homosexuality--for instance, comparing the gay rights movement to the civil rights movement will PISS OFF a TON of black people. So actually, it doesn't really surprise me.

    Let's be honest--black, latino, and middle eastern culture are not accepting of homosexuality--almost all the people I know who are accepting are rich, white people...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 11:15 PM GMT
    pelotudo87 saidLet's be honest--black, latino, and middle eastern culture are not accepting of homosexuality--almost all the people I know who are accepting are rich, white people...

    How does that explain Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, et al? icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 11:23 PM GMT
    jprichva saidI too was a Hillary guy...

    And me, too. I was crushed when she lost the Primary. But what were my choices for November? McCain-Palin?

    So I strongly supported Obama as the better alternative, and crossed my fingers on matters that did concern me about him. Not least of all was an insincerity that I felt surrounded him.

    Not quite as bad as when I had met Bill Clinton in person, and worked with him on a few matters when he was still the Governor of Arkansas, but I was uneasy just the same. Hillary, BTW, whom I also met casually, seemed much more genuine.

    But I repeat: what were my choices? Let McCain-Palin take the White House and run gays right out of the country? On this issue, I fear the problem is as much America itself as its elected officials. We are a bigoted & racist people, and our leaders tend to reflect that.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 11:40 PM GMT
    sfinboston saidnot holding my breath. I actually thinking we need Stonewall II in DC, 1 million pissed off Dykes, queers, fairies, muscle boy, leather men, drag queens and friends...


    Or you could try something that would actually work. icon_rolleyes.gif
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Jun 17, 2009 11:40 PM GMT
    Lisa Polyak: "2) During the Clinton administration -- guidance was requested about whether sick leave could be used to take care of same-sex partners and/children. The answer came back that a federal employee could use their sick leave to take care of, attend doctor appointments, or even attend funerals for anyone who had the "close approximation of family". This was a guidance memo -- not policy -- but it has been available since the mid 1990's. The reason I know this is that I have worked for a DOD Agency for 23 years and even DOD allowed me to take sick leave to care for my partner and my non-bio child."

    I'm not sure how wide-spread the interpretation/allowance is or was to use one's sick leave for others' medical or care needs. It's an earned leave (4 hours per pay period of two weeks) which is intended for the civil service employee's own needs, really. It later was also allowed to be "donated" to another employee who had exhausted his/her own sick and annual leave balance due to major illness, surgery, treatments, etc. But in my experience it was pretty narrowly defined as not to be used for "family" needs. "Abuse" of sick leave for non-health uses of the employee could have led to disciplinary action in the civil service (theoretically, at least).

    That led to the creation of "family leave" as an additional category of civil service employee leave which, if taken to care for "family" member(s) or to take a "family member" to a doctor or deal with medical emergencies, doesn't deduct from one's personal sick or annual leave balances...it was a special category to help specifically in family members' care, transporting to medical appointments, and I imagine to be used to family funerals, too. I don't recall how many hours total were granted, after which one would have to use annual (vacation) leave -- not personal sick leave.

    In the military, there is compassion leave, too to deal with family emergencies, travel home from distant deployments, deaths, etc. That category doesn't exist in civil service regs or policies that I recall, but I could well be mistaken.

    So - what exactly "extra" is being mandated or studied here at the direction of Mr. Obama?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 17, 2009 11:42 PM GMT
    Oh he so totalllly used the gay voters! I strongly believe you'll come to regret voting for him. Maybe not this year...but it will happen..
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Jun 17, 2009 11:53 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa said
    pelotudo87 saidLet's be honest--black, latino, and middle eastern culture are not accepting of homosexuality--almost all the people I know who are accepting are rich, white people...

    How does that explain Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, et al? icon_wink.gif


    I don't think that's quite a fair response -- not all rich white people are Limbaughs/Hannitys/O'Reilleys (I know many exceptions myself), and pelotudo's personal observations from his own experience don't try to excuse or explain the evil trio. He only points out that he has found in his life the most accepting people comparatively are wealthy whites. Doesn't mean there aren't any wealthy whites who are bigots - we all know of many, I'm sure. That doesn't change his experience and perceptions, though.
  • calibro

    Posts: 8888

    Jun 18, 2009 12:01 AM GMT
    They're lying about DOMA too
    by John Aravosis (DC) on 6/17/2009 07:01:00 PM

    It's just terribly frustrating when the White House insists on putting out misinformation in an effort to defend the president, and thus simply inflames things further. The president today noted that:

    Now, under current law, we cannot provide same-sex couples with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples.

    We were told the same thing on the conference call with OPM chief John Berry.

    It's not true.

    I've talked to several gay lawyers, including Richard Socarides who worked in the White House, and they say that it is patently untrue that DOMA prevents gay federal employees, or anyone else, from getting health benefits. President Obama could have granted full health benefits to domestic partners - not to spouses, not based on civil unions, but to "domestic partners" - and DOMA would not have prevented it, according to the lawyers I've spoken with. Here's why: DOMA prohibits granting benefits based on marriage, it does not prohibit granting benefits overall. Thus, you define a standard that isn't marriage, such as domestic partnerships as defined by, say, the amount of time spent dating, living together, comingling funds, etc. Had Obama simply said we will give health benefits to the domestic partners, straight and gay, of all federal employees, and given a definition of domestic partner that does not include marriage of civil unions, he could have done it.

    But he didn't. And now he's not telling us the truth as to why.
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Jun 18, 2009 12:03 AM GMT
    ^^^^^^
    This!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 18, 2009 12:05 AM GMT
    AbFab1 said
    Red_Vespa said
    pelotudo87 saidLet's be honest--black, latino, and middle eastern culture are not accepting of homosexuality--almost all the people I know who are accepting are rich, white people...

    How does that explain Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, et al? icon_wink.gif


    I don't think that's quite a fair response -- not all rich white people are Limbaughs/Hannitys/O'Reilleys (I know many exceptions myself), and pelotudo's personal observations from his own experience don't try to excuse or explain the evil trio. He only points out that he has found in his life the most accepting people comparatively are wealthy whites. Doesn't mean there aren't any wealthy whites who are bigots - we all know of many, I'm sure. That doesn't change his experience and perceptions, though.

    Well that reply was obviously (I hope) intended as a bit tongue-in-cheek, followed by the wink emoticon. At the same time, since you bring up the topic:

    Most rich Whites I know are Republican supporters. They appear deceptively gracious on the surface, and will speak the correct PC of the moment in public, but in private they are bigoted & racist. I've had many a verbal battle with them over dinner, where after a few drinks, their true feelings emerge.

    Let us never lose sight of the fact, shown by every poll, that Republicans hate gays. They believe in every harmful stereotype & myth about us, from being child molesters to having a secret agenda we follow. And rich Whites are primarily Republicans, though of course not all Republicans are rich Whites, the balance being lower-middle class aspirers, Christian fundamentalists, and others of the easily deluded less bright
  • Menergy_1

    Posts: 737

    Jun 18, 2009 12:11 AM GMT
    I missed the emoticon! My apologies -- must get new contact lenses or somethingicon_redface.gif

    And I guess we all have our own personal experiences and shall I say "biases" based on our own environments.

    Pax
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 18, 2009 12:18 AM GMT
    pelotudo87 saidcomparing the gay rights movement to the civil rights movement will PISS OFF a TON of black people.


    because a ton of black people are religious and conservative because of that, not because they have deeply reflected on the similarities and dissimilarities between the two human rights movements.