Updated 9:23 p.m.
By Scott Butterworth
President Obama will announce tomorrow that he is extending federal benefits to include unmarried domestic partners of federal workers, including same-sex partners, White House officials said tonight.
Obama will sign an executive order implementing the change in the Oval Office, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid upstaging the president's announcement.
The move would give partners of federal employees access to health care and financial benefits such as relocation fees for moves. The State Department announced a similar extension of benefits last month, with Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton calling it "the right thing to do."
The action will come as welcome news to gay-rights activists, who have voiced loud disappointment with Obama's handling of several issues important to their community.