An untold number of gay workers in four states remain unable to take unpaid time off to care for their ailing spouses, after a federal judge in Texas declined to lift an injunction Friday.
Last month, Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (shown with Sen. Ted Cruz) filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration over a new labor department rule extending benefits under the Family & Medical Leave Act to same-sex couples who live in states that don't recognize their marriages.
U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor, a President George W. Bush appointee, issued an order blocking the new FMLA rule from taking effect as scheduled on March 27 in Texas and three other states that joined Paxton's lawsuit — Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska.
The U.S. Department of Justice appealed the order, but O'Connor declined to lift it during a hearing Friday, according to NBCDFW.com.
Presumably, the Justice Department will appeal O'Connor's decision, which will be overturned anyway if the U.S. Supreme Court rules in favor of nationwide marriage equality in June.
The Family Medical & Leave Act grants workers 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year "to care for the employee’s spouse, child, or parent who has a serious health condition."
So perhaps we should thank Paxton for drawing further attention to the tremendous harm inflicted by state same-sex marriage bans.