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Marriage Equality

WATCH: DOMA Rises From the Dead in Texas

WATCH: DOMA Rises From the Dead in Texas


Even though the Supreme Court overturned a key provision of DOMA, Texas just successfully cited the law to block gay couples from getting family and medical leave.

Wait, didn't the Supreme Court overturn the Defense of Marriage Act? Well, not entirely -- and now Texas is using the portion of DOMA that's still intact to block family and medical leave for gays and lesbians.

It takes a special kind of cruelty to force LGBT people to choose between keeping their job and caring for a sick spouse. But that's what's happening in Texas, where Attorney General Ken Paxton was able to prevent new federal regulations from taking effect.

Previously, federal law required medical leave for married couples based on the state in which they lived. But that meant same-sex couples who married in Iowa and moved to Texas wouldn't be able to take time off to care for a sick spouse, since Texas doesn't recognize the marriage license.

That should have been an easy fix. As of last week, federal regulations were supposed to change, guaranteeing married couples access to medical leave based on state in which their marriage license was issued. But at the last moment, Paxton sued and won a temporary injunction.

This is probably just a temporary setback. The Supreme Court will likely rule in June on the constitutionality of marriage bans, and may just wipe out the Texas ban for good. (Or the court could uphold it, which would mean many more years of suffering.) Either way, Paxton can't keep couples from caring for each other for long. But in the meantime, there are bound to be couples harmed by their inability to take time off to care for one another, lest they risk losing a job.

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Matt Baume