A New York congressman urged President Barack Obama on Thursday to move faster on expanding gay and lesbian rights.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) said the president should move to pass the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act and a measure to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), a day after Obama signed a memorandum extending benefits to federal employees in same-sex relationships.
"I am extremely disappointed that these changes are so limited and piecemeal, still extending only to certain workers and providing access only to certain benefits, falling dramatically short of the actual needs of the LGBT community," Nadler said in a statement. "LGBT Americans and their families should not have to wait until we can identify and address every protection, one at a time."
Obama's act to expand benefits to federal employees is one his highest-profile acts to expand rights to gay and lesbian Americans and to follow through on campaign promises to do so. His administration also struck a deal to move forward with a repeal of "Don't ask, don't tell" later this year after the military finishes a review of how to implement the change.
Nadler said one of the best ways to move forward with gay rights would be to work to repeal DOMA, a 1990s law that allows states to not recognize gay marriages performed in other states.
"Let us move without further delay to repeal DOMA and provide LGBT Americans the rights that are guaranteed to them in the U.S. Constitution," he said.