Last week, the federal government took a couple of itty-bitty steps toward equality for all. While none of the measures eradicate discrimination against same-sex relationships, they do suggest a slowly changing tide in Washington.

Here’s what went down:

On Friday, the Internal Revenue Service issued a ruling that recognizes California’s community property laws for same-sex couples. The result of the ruling is that registered domestic partners in the state of California will have a reduced tax burden, because they will only be required to report half of their combined income from earnings or community property on their individual tax returns. While The Wall Street Journal quickly claimed “Gay couples get equal tax treatment,” The Christian Science Monitor more aptly declared the ruling “A small step toward tax equality for same-sex couples” since it only applies in states that recognize same-sex partners in community property laws. The ruling does not allow same-sex couples to file tax returns jointly, even if they are legally married; nor does the ruling address the myriad of ways same-sex couples are treated unequally when compared to heterosexual couples under federal tax law. For example, same-sex spouses are not entitled to social security survivor’s benefits, and they are forced to pay taxes on assets left to them when one spouse dies.

On June 2, President Obama issued a memorandum that expanded benefits for partners of gay and lesbian federal employees to include family assistance services, hardship transfers and relocation expenses. The order also requires any federal agencies that provide new benefits to opposite-sex spouses of federal employees provide equal benefits to same-sex domestic partners of federal employees, to the extent permitted by law. Obama’s action expands upon last year’s directive in which he guaranteed limited benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees such as access to long-term care insurance and expanded sick leave, medical evacuation and medical care abroad. In his statement regarding the most recent memo, Obama said:

“While this Memorandum is an important step on the path to equality, my Administration continues to be prevented by existing Federal law from providing same-sex domestic partners with the full range of benefits enjoyed by heterosexual married couples. That is why, today, I renew my call for swift passage of an important piece of legislation pending in both Houses of Congress—the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act. This legislation, championed by Senators Joe Lieberman and Susan Collins and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin, would extend to the same-sex domestic partners of Federal employees the full range of benefits currently enjoyed by Federal employees’ opposite-sex spouses. I look forward to signing it into law.”

Equally Wed magazine supports full marriage equality and encourages you to tell Congress that it’s time to repeal DOMA.