Gay visitation order shows how Obama brings big change with small actions

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April 17, 2010

4/17/2010

"President Obama's decision Thursday night to grant same-sex couples hospital visitation rights is the latest and most visible example of a strategy to make concrete steps toward equality for gays and lesbians without sparking a broad cultural debate or a fight with Congress.

"...Kevin Cathcart, the executive director of Lambda Legal, which had filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Florida couple, said he repeatedly raised the issue with White House officials in telephone calls, private conversations and group meetings.

"...Cathcart said he is pleased that his client's case helped push Obama to take action. But like many gays and lesbians, he describes the pace of change as 'frustratingly slow.'

"'They can and should and are starting to do the smaller things,' he said. 'But if they can't work with Congress to deliver something more . . . there's still going to be a lot of anger and frustration in the community.'"

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