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Obama to Congress: extend same-sex benefits

Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. -- President Barack Obama is calling on Congress to pass a law extending benefits to same-sex partners, a day after he renewed his support for repealing the ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in the military.

Obama was responding to a question during a town hall meeting Thursday in Tampa, Fla.. He noted a bill is pending that would extend to domestic partners benefits such as granting Social Security survivor payments and allowing hospital visitation.

Obama said: "My hope is we can get it done."

Obama has acted administratively to extend some benefits to federal employees with same-sex partners. He has called for a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act, which bars federal recognition of gay unions and the granting of benefits.

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