President Barack Obama is about to extend
benefits to same-sex partners of federal employees.
Obama has been under growing criticism for not seeking to end
the ban on openly gay men and women in the military and the
decision is a political nod to a reliably Democratic voting bloc.
In recent weeks, they've grown frustrated with the White House's
slow movement on their priorities.
Several powerful gay fundraisers withdrew their support from a
June 25 Democratic National Committee event where Vice President
Joe Biden is expected to speak. Their exit came in response to a
June 12 Justice Department brief that defended the Defense of
Marriage Act, a prime target for gay and lesbian criticism.
A White House official says Obama plans to announce his decision
on Wednesday in the Oval Office and release more details.