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June grants gay parents family medical leave, more marriage

Gay marriage gains momentum
Gay marriage gains momentum
Photo by George Frey/Getty Images

How did the final week of June fare for LGBT parents? Read on to find out.

Family medical leave. President Barack Obama took another step forward for gay families and couples. On June 20, Barack Obama stated that gay, married couples will be entitled to the same benefits that heterosexual couples currently have under the Family and Medical Leave Act. As it stands now, LGBT spouses can only access these benefits in states that have legalized same-sex marriage. Under the new rule imposed by President Obama, any same-sex sex couple that is legally married will be able to take advantage of these rights, regardless of whether their state of residence has gay marriage or not.

What are some of these benefits? The Family Medical Leave Act, started by former President Bill Clinton during his reign in office, allows spouses to take some time away from work in the advent of a sick family member. While the leave is unpaid, the Act gives working employees peace of mind. The worker does not have to worry about getting fired or having their job go to somebody else during their time away. Pregnant women are also entitled to some time off, as not having the same access to this act made things tougher for same-sex spouses trying to take care of their families. With this new ruling, gay parents can rest easier, knowing that they are inching closer to attaining all rights that their heterosexual counterparts enjoy.

The new marriage twist. County clerks are getting tired of waiting around for Court of Appeals to decide whether they will overturn the ruling allowing same-sex couples to get married. Hillary Hall, the County Clerk in Boulder, Colorado has decided to march ahead and do the right thing. While Colorado’s 10th Circuit Court of Appeals takes its time to reach a final verdict on gay marriage, Hall will continue to hand out same-sex marriage licenses to any couple that asks.

This is not the first time a county clerk has decided to jump the gun. In July 2013, D. Bruce Hanes of Pennsylvania’s Montgomery County decided to take the law into his own hands. Hanes started granting gay marriage licenses to same-sex couples, despite the state not having passed same-sex marriage laws for LGBT couples. Hanes’ bold move made national headlines, Hanes expressing to NBC News last year that he was on the right side of history. While Hanes’ decision sit not sit well with Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett, Corbett did not fight Pennsylvania’s recent ruling this past May that legalized same-sex marriage.

What state will be next in legalizing gay marriage? Readers, how do you feel about gay spouses enjoying benefits under the Family Medical Leave Act? Please state your mind with a comment down below.

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