The Washington Post has an article indicating that the Labor Department will issue a new proposal that would make same-sex couples eligible for the Family and Medical Leave Act benefits.
The Labor Department will issue a proposed rule Friday stating that any employee is eligible for leave to care for a same-sex spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act, according to White House officials, regardless of whether they live in a state that recognizes their marital status.This appears to be a part of the ongoing effort of the Obama Administration to bring the federal government into compliance with the SCOTUS DOMA ruling last year (which struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act). The benefits (and responsibilities) of marriage at the federal level are indeed numerous.
White House officials, who asked not to be identified in advance of the official announcement, did not specify how many individuals would be affected by the proposed rule. But given the large number of Americans who regularly take advantage of the federal benefit, it could have an impact on thousands of families.
Due to FMLA’s scope, the Labor Department rule would apply only to private-sector employees, but administration officials said the Office of Personal Management would issue its own proposal Friday extending the same benefits to federal employees.
Also from the article:
Also Friday, the Justice Department will issue the findings of its year-long review of how the Windsor decision affects other federal benefits. In almost all instances, same-sex married couples will receive the same federal benefits and obligations as their heterosexual counterparts, regardless of where they live. For example, the Defense Department now offers the same benefits to same-sex and heterosexual couples, and the Health and Human Services Department has published guidance dictating that any insurance companies providing spousal coverage must make the same plan available to same-sex spouses.It will take the US Congress to approve those two exceptions with regard to same-sex married couples living in states that do not recognize same-sex marriages. And, as most of us know, that is not likely to occur right now because of the makeup of the US House of Representatives.
The two exceptions are Social Security and veterans benefits, which are determined based on the law where individuals live, as opposed to where they celebrated their marriage. Several gay and civil rights groups, including the Human Rights Campaign and the American Civil Liberties Union, have been pressing lawmakers to extend those federal benefits to same-sex couples.