Main | Friday, March 27, 2015

Federal Court Blocks Medical Leave For Married Gay Couples In Four States

Last night a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against a recently-issued Labor Department policy that grants family medical leave benefits to married same-sex couples in states that forbid same-sex marriage. Chris Johnson reports at the Washington Blade:
In a 24-page decision, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, an appointee of George W. Bush, issued the preliminary injunction based on the threat of irreparable harm to Texas, which filed the lawsuit against the regulation. “The Court finds that Plaintiffs have demonstrated that irreparable injury would occur,” O’Connor writes. “For example, the Final Rule would require Texas agencies to recognize out-of-state same-sex unions as marriages in violation of Texas Family Code § 6.204(c)(2), which expressly prohibits state agencies from ‘giving effect to a . . . right or claim to any legal protection, benefit, or responsibility asserted as a result of a marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union in this state or in any other jurisdiction.’…Defendants’ argument that the Final Rule only affects the states in their capacity as employers does not take into account the clear and expansive language of the text. Accordingly, Plaintiffs have met their burden under this factor.”
The suit was filed last week by Texas AG Ken Paxton and was followed by thrilled press releases from anti-gay hate groups. Yesterday Louisiana AG Buddy Caldwell announced that he had joined the suit. Read the ruling.

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