On June 17th, President Obama signed a memorandum extending partial benefits to same-gender partners of federal employees, a decision that has drawn criticism from opposite sides of the gay rights debate.
The left has been emboldened by hallmark advances at the state level and wants nothing less than a full loaf. According to MSNBC.com:
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama signaled to gay-rights activists Wednesday that he’s listening to their desire for greater equality in “a more perfect union.” But he didn’t give them even close to everything they want, bringing to the surface an anger that’s been growing against the president.
While Pam Spaulding was receiving an award at the Women’s Media Center Awards, others filled in on her popular blog, Pam’s House Blend. In a post entitled, “Dump DOMA“, guest poster Lurleen includes a series of angry comments such as What a lame-assed, watery, pathetic presidency this is. Although the President has spoken in favor of repealing DOMA, the brief filed by the Department of Justice in support of DOMA is especially vexing.
Similarly, The Other McCain vents and offers commenters space to vent also.
But much as certain conservatives are gloating at the response of gay Democrats (see Glen Reynolds at Instapundit), conservatives are mostly critical. Well known conservative Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council suggests that the President has violated both the letter and spirit of DOMA. Dan Gilgoff of God and Country blog reports:
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.’
While the left complains about the pace of Obama’s reform, the right fears the direction. As an old negotiator, I am reminded of the adage that when neither party to a deal is satisfied, then the agreement is probably a fair compromise.