ByÂ Cheryl Wetzstein, The Washington Times
As the Obama administration hustles to fulfill President Obama’s campaign promises to create equality for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans, conservative groups are crying foul.
This week, the Department of Labor announced that the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) will now allow employees other than parents to take unpaid leave to care for a child. This specifically includes same-sex partners who are adopting or raising a child together.
The FMLA change was part of the “Blueprint for Positive Change,” a series of pro-LGBT policy actions that could be done without congressional action, said the Human Rights Campaign. “HRC worked with Department of Labor staff to move this important change forward,” it added.
Other pro-gay moves by the administration include advising hospitals to allow gay men and lesbians to freely visit their partners when they are patients, and reopening the discussion about changing the Food and Drug Administration’s blood-donor policy to allow gay men to give blood if they have been sexually abstinent for a certain period of time.
At a recent dinner held at the White House in honor of Gay Pride Month, Mr. Obama said he was “pushing hard” to pass a bill outlawing workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation, and that he has already “issued an executive order to extend as many partnership benefits to gay and lesbian federal employees as possible under current law.”
Two more changes are in the works, too, the president added.
“Because I believe that committed gay and lesbian couples deserve the same rights and responsibilities afforded to any married couple in this country, I have called for Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act,” Mr. Obama said. “And finally, we’re going to end ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ military policy. We have never been closer to ending this discriminatory policy, and I’m going to keep on fighting until that bill is on my desk and I can sign it.”
Traditional Values Coalition leader Andrea Lafferty chided the president for hosting the gay pride event when he had “no time” to host the National Day of Prayer event in May.
She also faulted Mr. Obama for talking about families with “two fathers” in his Father’s Day proclamation. “He’s far more interested in pushing the agenda of cross-dressers, drag queens, transsexuals and homosexuals than upholding traditional marriage and the mother-and-father families,” she wrote on her blog.
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