Wal-Mart has decided to recognize same-sex partners as immediate family. That would be great news for the partners of Wal-Mart employees, if Wal-Mart actually offered any benefits. As it is, it just means those partners are described within the Wal-Mart ethics code, which:
bar[s] employees from ... approaching Wal-Mart's suppliers about jobs for immediate family members, the company said.So, as an employee of Wal-Mart, I can't arrange for a job for my partner, same- or opposite-sex, to manufacture shoes in China for twelve cents an hour? Bastards!
Since there's now volumes of case law in Canada recognizing the equality of common-law relationships gay and straight (gay marriage or not), and since even the hard right position in this country now seems to be some sort of domestic partnership recognition for same-sex couples, Wal-Mart's decision is no big deal here. It speaks to the American gay and lesbian experience that this is considered a great victory.
(An aside - I'm reminded of a Frank Magazine three-frame "Foto Funny": Preston Manning in a Parliament Hill scrum: "Of course I'm in favour of same-sex equality. After all, Sandra and I have been having the same sex for years." I miss Frank Magazine.)