GAY RIGHTS

Obama's Benefits Plan Falls Short

President Obama extended some benefits to the unmarried partners of federal workers Wednesday, but gay advocacy groups say there's still a long way to go on the road to equality. Though the partners of gay federal employees will enjoy some benefits, the Defense of Marriage Act prevents the government from extending health or life insurance to them. Obama said Wednesday the memorandum is "just a start" and reiterated his commitment to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act with the help of Congress. A Department of Justice memo from earlier this week defended the 1996 law, causing several prominent gay rights advocates to back out of a big Democratic fundraiser.