TEXAS: AG Sues Feds To Stop Medical Leave For Married Same-Sex Couples
Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the U.S. Department of Labor on Wednesday over a proposal to extend family leave benefits to same-sex married couples. Under the proposed federal rule to take effect March 27, the definition of “spouse” would be revised to include gay partners who were married in a state that recognizes same-sex unions. The new rule would direct state agencies to grant family and medical leave benefits to all such couples. Paxton said the Texas constitution holds that such unions cannot be recognized and therefore he is advising state agencies to follow state law and not the federal rule. “This lawsuit is about defending the sovereignty of our state, and we will continue to protect Texas from the unlawful overreach of the federal government,” Paxton said. The issue involves the Family Medical and Leave Act, which provides employers must allow unpaid time off for workers to tend to certain qualified family emergencies. “Texans have clearly defined the institution of marriage in our state, and attempts by the Obama Administration to disregard the will of our citizens through the use of new federal rules is unconstitutional and an affront to the foundations of federalism,” Paxton said.We're still waiting for the Fifth Circuit Court to rule on the marriage cases out of Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana. Oral arguments were heard back in January and most observers have predicted a 2-1 split in favor of the good guys.