The Obama-Biden transition team has released its official civil rights agenda on Change.gov, the official transition website, and the expansive and far-reaching section on LGBT rights includes federal civil unions.
"While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do," President-Elect Barack Obama is quoted as saying. "Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It's about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect."
The passage on relationship recognition goes much farther than modest proposals currently pending in Congress to extend domestic partner benefits to federal employees: Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: Barack Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.
Other LGBT highlights of the Obama plan:
Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: passing the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Act, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity Fight Workplace Discrimination: passing the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which includes sexual orientation and gender identity protections Repeal Don't Ask-Don't Tell Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage Expand Adoption Rights Promote AIDS Prevention: Obama promised in his first year in office a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies, expanding beyond abstinence-only sex ed and ending the federal ban on needle exchange