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Jenelle Torres (C) embraces spouse Lydia Torres after being wed by Newark Mayor Cory Booker in Newark, New Jersey October 21, 2013. New Jersey on Monday became the 14th U.S. state to legalize gay marriage after Governor Chris Christie withdrew his adminis
The Obama administration is announcing that another expansion of federal rights and benefits is on the way for same-sex couples, but also that it has reached the limits of what it can do under present law:
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. [...]

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 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.

The administration has, however, concluded that there are things it cannot do without action by Congress. At the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Social Security Administration, the federal government cannot fully recognize same-sex marriages in states that do not have marriage equality:
In the meantime, though, those two agencies plan to announce Friday that they are taking steps at this time to provide the recognition for same-sex couples that they have determined is legally possible now, even in the absence of a congressional fix.

For instance, if a person married to someone of the same sex applies for Social Security benefits and moves from a state where the marriage is legal to a state that does not recognize the marriage, the Social Security Administration (SSA) is announcing it will not reassess the person’s eligibility status. The VA, for its part, will now allow same-sex couples in a “committed relationship” to be eligible for burial in VA cemeteries.

Full fixes await Congress, and we know how that's going to go as long as Republicans control the House.

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Comment Preferences

  •  No doubt those assholes in Congress (11+ / 0-)

    (meaning, of course, the GOP) will "justify" their refusal to take action on SS benefits for same-sex couples as a "measure to extend the life of Social Security".

    Bunch of homophobic assclowns, whose only concern for Social Security is how they can get control over it into the grubby mits of their buddies on Wall Street.

  •  Heterosexual supremacists (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mjbleo, wader, The Old Grouch

    Will let go of their bigotry after you take it from their cold, dead hands.

    "I feel a lot safer already."--Emil Sitka

    by DaddyO on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:40:13 AM PDT

  •  Well that's *something*. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, The Old Grouch, Oh Mary Oh

    Attorney David Boies (L) speaks during a joint news conference with attorney Theodore Olson and plaintiffs Paul Katami (2nd R) and Jeff Zarrillo (R) in San Francisco, California August 4, 2010 following a decision by US District Judge Vaugh Walker that says Proposition 8 violates gays' and lesbians' rights of equality.
    REUTERS/Kevin Bartram

    I am a closet toy freak. I started chasing after some things as far as Star Wars toys - some very rare stuff. ---Rick Springfield

    by mjbleo on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:40:14 AM PDT

  •  Dems get another arrow for their quivers. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wader, mjbleo
  •  I think the headline is misleading. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Waimer, wayne, askew, anon004

    The way it reads is that Obama is placing limits on marriage equality.

  •  There is only so much that can be (6+ / 0-)

    done by executive order.  What's more, the next Republican could undo every one of them.  People need to remember this when wondering why Obama won't change everything by going around Congress.

    "Moon landing was real. Evolution exists. Tax cuts lose revenue. The research has shown this a thousand times. Enough already." - Austan Goolsbee

    by anonevent on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 06:46:39 AM PDT

    •  And, why he's often stated his reluctance (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wasatch, Willinois

      to use that method as a lead into longer-term changes that Congress eventually needs to make.

      Hopefully his Administration will have helped support growing momentum for these needs, to make the subject radioactive for even knuckle-dragging Republicans to attempt rolling back under their own Executive, but I honestly don't think they'd care about public perception: shock is a tactic they use often.

      "So, please stay where you are. Don't move and don't panic. Don't take off your shoes! Jobs is on the way."

      by wader on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 07:10:50 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  An excellent example of the knuckle-dragging (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Teabaghead/Republican attitude to "public perception" might be found in the article written by one of their chief spokes-persons, George Will; in which he offers the notion that, if women have a "right" to control of their own reproductive systems, men should also have a "right" to rape a woman if the man wants to.

    •  Remember when Obama hated LGBT rights? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Yeah, those first two years when every sneeze by Obama was a hair-raising betrayal. He started to repeal DADT exactly the way he promised, on exactly the timetable he promised, and amazingly the way he did it avoided significant pushback from the military. It was extremely well executed. Did Aravosis ever apologize for his accusations and hysteria?

  •  One "benefit" gay couples don't need is (0+ / 0-)

    the IRS marriage penalty.  Since both partners in most all gay marriages both work and earn income, they typically would have to pay more taxes as a married couple vs. being single.  Therefore, it is important that all the benefits of marriage apply to gay married couples, but they should still be allowed to file their taxes as single individuals.  It's only fair.

  •  Nit (0+ / 0-)

    Pretty sure it's "Office of Personnel Management", no matter what your source may have said.

  •  Frankly disappointing (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Yet again, we will fall short of full equality. And, this Congress is not likely to help with that any time soon.

    KOS: "Mocking partisans focusing on elections? Even less reason to be on Daily Kos."

    by fcvaguy on Fri Jun 20, 2014 at 10:23:21 AM PDT

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