WASHINGTON (AP) — The Obama administration will work to ensure that gay and lesbian Americans are eligible to take leave from their jobs to care for a same-sex spouse, regardless of whether they live in a state that recognizes gay marriage, the White House said Friday.

President Barack Obama is directing the Labor Department to start drafting rules making clear that the Family and Medical Leave Act applies to same-sex couples, allowing gay and lesbian employees to take unpaid leave to care for a sick spouse regardless of where they live. The move comes three years after the Obama administration stopped defending the Defense of Marriage Act, which lets states refuse to recognize gay marriages performed in other states.

The White House is promoting the move as part of Obama’s push to expand protections for gays and lesbians by allowing same-sex couples to take advantage of the same federal benefits available to married heterosexual couples.

To that end, the Justice Department also plans to announce it has completed a review that Obama ordered to assess what legal benefits can be extended to gay couples. Already, Obama has moved to ensure gay couples have equal access to health insurance, immigration privileges and tax benefits, the White House said.

But the White House said there are a few benefits that current law prohibits the federal government from granting to same-sex couples. Hoping to end that limitation, the Obama administration is calling on Congress to pass legislation removing those prohibitions.

Democratic members of Congress already have introduced bills expanding protections for gays and lesbians related to Social Security and veterans’ benefits, the White House said.

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(Photo Source: AP)

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5 thoughts on “Obama Moves To Ensure Sick Leave For Gay Couples

  1. Kimberly on said:

    I’m glad there is a prominent face on all the subjects other commander in chief would never touch, most important Nubian issues

  2. Mac Ben on said:

    Key word: unpaid.

    So don’t you punks and sissies get happy yet. One can take an unpaid leave of absence for up to a year ANYWAY!!!!!

  3. naturallyfocused531 on said:

    Reblogged this on Drag on… and commented:
    In spirit of pride month, I am reposting this. Being a lesbian it is very important to me for all humans to have the same rights regardless of whom you choose to love.

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