President Obama today strongly endorsed extending domestic partner benefits to gay and lesbian couples, specifically mentioning a bill introduced by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) that would do just that for federal workers. Responding to a questioner at a Tampa, Fla. town hall-style appearance, Obama said:
“As I said last night my belief is that a basic principal in our Constitution is that if you’re obeying the law, if you’re following the rules, that you should be treated the same regardless of who you are.
“I think that principle applies to gay and lesbian couples, so at the federal level one of the things that we’re trying to do is to make sure that partnerships are recognized for purposes of benefits, so that hospital visitation for example is something that is permitted, so that social security or pension benefits or others, that same-sex couples are recognized in all those circumstances.