i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Friday, June 04, 2010

Obama Extends Benefits To Same-Sex Couples

president barack obama ordered government agencies wednesday to extend additional benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees, including child care services & expanded family leave. the initiative comes a year after obama signed a memorandum giving federal workers' same-sex partners a first round of benefits including dependent-care & visitation rights. additionally, obama asked federal agencies to determine what other benefits could be given to domestic partners without congressional action.

among the results of his review he announced included: access to credit union & other memberships when those are provided to federal workers; child-care services & subsidies; giving domestic partners the same status as 'family members' when federal appointments are made; more flexibility to use family leave to attend to the needs of domestic partners & their children; as well as relocation benefits.

as with obama's memo a year ago, this one covers only benefits that can be extended under existing law, without congressional approval. legislative action would be required for a full range of health care & other benefits. in fact, health care benefits are the ultimate piece-de-resistance' for many activists, which obama supports wholeheartedly. in a statement, obama called on congress to extend health benefits to same-sex partners.

obama said, "while this memorandum is an important step on the path to equality, my administration continues to be prevented by existing federal law from providing same-sex domestic partners with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples."

several times during obama's historic presidential campaign he pledged to support the lgbt community, which has been critical of his actions as commander-in-chief. the white house recently backed a compromise on the military "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the military that would move ahead on repeal but still allow the pentagon time to implement new policies. in april, obama moved to grant same-sex partners full visitation rights in hospitals.

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