All too predicatbly the Christianists and professional Christian crowd are hyperventilating over Obama's signing of his memorandum today that extends a handful of legal rights and benefits to LGBT federal employers and their families. The professional whiners have their panties in a major knot and are bloviating that this grant of a handful of rights/benefits approximates marriage. The charge is ridiculous and disingenuous, but would one expect anything less from these folk? A handful of rights versus some 1000+ rights/benefits. Pretty poor approximation to marriage if you ask me. Here are some highlights from U.S. News & World Report:
Conservative Christian groups criticizing the president's memorandum extending certain benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees are alleging that the president is approximating the benefits of marriage —that he's basically creating "marriage light." It's an interesting line of argument because polls show that most Americans support benefits for gay partners but oppose gay marriage.
Here's a statement today from Concerned Women for America President Wendy Wright: "Barack Obama's order...attempts to elevate relationships outside of marriage as if they are the same as marriage. Marriage provides unique benefits to individuals, families, and society that cannot be replicated by any other living arrangements. Marriage helps nurture children and reduces social and financial costs to society by promoting healthy behavior. Federal funds should not be a political tool to elevate partner arrangements to be treated similar to marriage."
And here's a statement from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins making a similar marriage-based argument against Obama's executive memorandum: President Obama's expected Executive Order extending benefits to homosexual partners appears to be a violation of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), and clearly violates the spirit of the federal law which defines marriage as the legal union of one man and one woman as husband and wife. In 1996, DOMA passed overwhelmingly in both the House and Senate and was then signed by President Clinton.