President Obama has ordered federal agencies to grant additional benefits to the partners of gay and lesbian federal employees.
The new benefits for federal workers' same-sex partners build on those ordered a year ago by the White House. They include relocation expenses and family assistance in the case of hardship transfers, child-care services and subsidies, expanded family and medical leave and relocation and other benefits.
Because of the Defense of Marriage Act, though, federal workers' gay and lesbian partners are still ineligible for the most valuable workplace benefits: health insurance and retirement.
Obama issued a statement, renewing his call for Congress to change the law, so those same-sex partners can enjoy the same benefits that federal workers' married spouses receive.
The Human Rights Campaign, which advocates for gay and lesbian rights, echoed Obama's call, noting that a majority of Fortune 500 companies already extend full benefits to their employees' same-sex partners.