Talks on Same-Sex Benefits Began Months Ago

The Washington Post
June 17, 2009
The seeds for a presidential memorandum President Obama plans to sign today that would extend federal employee benefits for same-sex couples were planted last December during a meeting with advocates and the Obama transition team. Over the course of 2 1/2 hours, representatives of several groups met with Valerie Jarrett, now one of the president's top White House advisers, and John Podesta, who along with Jarrett was a co-chair of the transition team, and discussed a range of issues important to gay and lesbian Americans. "It was a very serious meeting, talking about appointments, talking about positions, talking about legislation," recalled Leonard Hirsch, the president of Federal Globe, an organization representing gay and lesbian federal workers. That meeting led to today's planned announcement about benefits. [Link]