Just in time for LGBT Pride Month, the Departments of Labor and Justice are making separate announcements about federal entitlements for same-sex couples in the United States.The Department of Labor on Friday will announce that it will issue a notice of proposed rulemaking on the Family and Medical Leave Act, clarifying that under the federal law, employees are eligible for leave to care for their same-sex spouses, regardless of the employees’ states of residence. The Justice Department, meanwhile, will announce on Friday the completion of a review of federal statutes made after the Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor to strike down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).
“In almost all instances, federal benefits and obligations for same-sex married couples will be provided, regardless of where the couple lives,” a White House official said in a statement. There remain, however, a “handful of provisions” that currently preclude the federal government from extending equal benefits to legally married same-sex couples without regard to their states of residence.
The Obama administration says it is calling for legislation to fix the provisions that continue to prohibit legally married same-sex couples from enjoying the same federal benefits as their opposite-sex counterparts.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down Section 3 of DOMA in 2013, President Obama directed Attorney General Holder to review all relevant federal statutes to ensure the court’s decision was implemented.