(USA Today) President Obama is directing the Labor Department to create rules making sure that gay couples are eligible for benefits under the Family and Medical Leave Act, the White House said Friday.
Under the rules, employees would be eligible for leave to care for a same-sex spouse who is ill, regardless of whether they live in a state that recognizes gay marriage.
In addition, the Justice Department is expected to announce Friday it has completed an Obama-ordered review on other legal benefits that can be extended to gay couples.
The administration has already moved to make sure that gay couples are eligible for benefits under health care, immigration, and tax programs.
The Associated Press reports:
"The White House is promoting the (family leave) 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. ...
"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."