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