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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

POLITICS: Obama to Give Gay Parents Right to Family Leave!

President Obama intends to give gay workers the explicit right to take family and medical leave to care for a partner’s sick child—even if they have no legal relationship with that child. The Labor Department will issue a formal opinion tomorrow saying that the 1993 law that grants family medical leave applies to gay couples, because it explicitly applies to “a person standing in loco parentis,” the New York Times reports.

Basically, “if you act like a parent, do the work of a parent and raise a child like a parent, then you are a parent,” says one gay rights activist who collaborated with the administration on the ruling. Obama can’t legally recognize gay unions thanks to the Defense of Marriage Act, but he's been finding ways like this to expand couples' rights lately; in April, he granted hospital visiting rights to same-sex partners. Today, he’ll invite activists to the White House to celebrate “LGBT Pride Month.”

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