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Expanding the Definition of Children and Spouses for the Family and Medical Leave Act

June 23, 2010

The Labor Department issued a new ruling on the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the 1993 law that provides rights to employees to take leave to care for spouses and children, that extends these rights to LGBT parents by expanding the definition of parents to include a person “standing in loco parentis.”  This means people who provide day-to-day care and financial support, regardless of biological or legal relationship (read: non-biological parents who have not adopted their partner’s child).  A new report from the Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law found that this benefits 100,000 children.

While the law doesn’t apply to same sex partners because of the Defense of Marriage Act, Rep.Carolyn B. Maloney has introduced legislation to expand FMLA to same sex partners.

Rep. Maloney’s efforts here should be praised and encouraged.  The text of the bill is here.  As of today, the following members of the House have signed on as cosponsors–another effort we should all consider when we look to donate to support candidates.  If your member isn’t on this list below, make a quick call or shoot them an email encouraging them to co-sponsor the legislation.  You can find out who your representative is, and their contact information, here.

    Rep Ackerman, Gary L. [NY-5] – 5/7/2009
    Rep Baldwin, Tammy [WI-2] – 4/28/2009
    Rep Berkley, Shelley [NV-1] – 4/30/2009
    Rep Capps, Lois [CA-23] – 5/7/2009
    Rep Chu, Judy [CA-32] – 4/15/2010
    Rep Connolly, Gerald E. “Gerry” [VA-11] – 10/22/2009
    Rep Courtney, Joe [CT-2] – 5/19/2010
    Rep Cummings, Elijah E. [MD-7] – 10/13/2009
    Rep Delahunt, William D. [MA-10] – 4/28/2009
    Rep Farr, Sam [CA-17] – 4/28/2009
    Rep Frank, Barney [MA-4] – 4/28/2009
    Rep Grijalva, Raul M. [AZ-7] – 10/13/2009
    Rep Gutierrez, Luis V. [IL-4] – 4/15/2010
    Rep Hirono, Mazie K. [HI-2] – 4/28/2009
    Rep Israel, Steve [NY-2] – 4/28/2009
    Rep Jackson-Lee, Sheila [TX-18] – 10/8/2009
    Rep Lee, Barbara [CA-9] – 10/22/2009
    Rep Lewis, John [GA-5] – 5/12/2009
    Rep Matsui, Doris O. [CA-5] – 6/17/2009
    Rep McMahon, Michael E. [NY-13] – 12/3/2009
    Rep Meek, Kendrick B. [FL-17] – 4/29/2009
    Rep Nadler, Jerrold [NY-8] – 4/28/2009
    Rep Norton, Eleanor Holmes [DC] – 3/3/2010
    Rep Pastor, Ed [AZ-4] – 9/15/2009
    Rep Polis, Jared [CO-2] – 4/28/2009
    Rep Sestak, Joe [PA-7] – 6/3/2009
    Rep Sherman, Brad [CA-27] – 6/3/2009
    Rep Wexler, Robert [FL-19] – 5/20/2009
    Rep Woolsey, Lynn C. [CA-6] – 4/28/2009
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