The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

By Timothy M. Phelps, Tribune Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will announce Friday that it plans to make same-sex spouses eligible for emergency family leave to care for their partners regardless of whether the state in which they live recognizes their marriages.

The Department of Labor will issue a proposed rule making clear that the right to time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act is valid for all legally married couples, according to a White House official who asked for anonymity because the news was not yet official.

The official said the Justice Department will also announce that it has completed its review of the impact on federal laws of last year’s Supreme Court decision striking down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

That review is expected to conclude that in almost all instances, federal benefits will be provided to same-sex couples regardless of where they live. In most cases, federal laws will be interpreted so that the law in which a marriage was celebrated determines spousal benefits, not the law of the state in which the couple reside.

The administration has already announced that residency is not an issue for federal health and pension benefits, income taxes, benefits for people working for the Defense Department, insurance, and other issues.

But the administration will call on Congress to pass legislation in some areas where a change in the law is required. In the past, administration officials have said that new laws might be required to make Social Security and veterans benefits available to same-sex couples in all 50 states.

Advocates for gay rights have been extremely pleased by the Obama administration’s record on the issue. In addition to the expansion of benefits, the administration announced Monday that Obama plans to sign an executive order that would forbid federal contractors from discriminating against their employees on the basis of sexual orientation.

Photo: Mandi Wright via Detroit Free Press/MCT

Interested in national news? Sign up for our daily newsletter!

Advertising

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Mehmet Oz

Where ultra-wealthy TV quack doctor Mehmet Oz actually lives is a mystery. He doesn't seem to reside in Pennsylvania, where he is currently the Republican U.S. Senate candidate. He owns a mansion in New Jersey -- and what he calls "properties" in at least nine other places, although he claims to only "legitimately" two homes (whatever that means).

Not surprisingly, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, his Democratic opponent and a trolling master, has taken acerbic note of this curious situation in a certain television host's style -- and then dropped an amusing video via Twitter.

Keep reading... Show less

(Reuters) -Walmart Inc, the largest private employer in the United States, is expanding abortion and travel coverage for employees, about two months after the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that legalized the procedure nationwide.

In a Friday memo to its 1.6 million U.S. employees that was seen by Reuters, the retailer said its self-insured healthcare plans will now cover abortion "when there is a health risk to the mother, rape or incest, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage or lack of fetal viability."

Keep reading... Show less
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}