But even given the cautious justification for these actions, they show a remarkable tin ear for politics. From The American Prospect (my emphases)
Members of the administration have admitted that gay-rights issues have taken a back seat, and indeed, it seems reasonable enough to ask the gay community to be patient while Obama fixes the economy and health care. But here's the thing with civil rights: Whether you think there are more pressing things to do depends on whether you take civil rights seriously. Civil rights aren't perks that you deal with once you get all the practical stuff in order; they are the practical stuff -- they allow all Americans to participate fully in tackling collective problems.
The Justice Department's ardent defense of DOMA and "don't ask, don't tell" have only added insult to injury.
It is easier for a Federal Employee to buy pet insurance for their dog than get health insurance for their same sex spouse or partner. If I were a federal employee, my cat might have better benefits than my wife. That's some fierce advocating.