THOMPSON STATEMENT ON THE EXTENSION OF MORE MARRIAGE BENEFITS TO SAME SEX COUPLES
WASHINGTON D.C. – U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson (CA-5) today released the following statement on the Obama Administration’s decision to extend more benefits to same-sex couples, regardless of if they live in states that recognize same-sex marriage or not. These actions follow last year's U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act¸ ending the ban on federal benefits for legally married same-sex couples:
“The Supreme Court made clear that same-sex couples have equal rights to federal marriage benefits. Today’s actions move us closer to the day when all people – no matter whom they love and marry, or where they live – are treated equally in the eyes of the law.
“However, too many benefits are still denied to too many same-sex couples. Full equality for all American families shouldn’t have to wait on the courts. It’s time for the House Majority to bring the Respect for Marriage Act to the floor for a vote, and ensure marriage equality for all couples.”
Today, the Obama Administration announced that the Department of Labor was beginning the process to extend the Family and Medical Leave Act to same-sex couples. This would allow legally married same-sex couples to take unpaid leave from work to care for a sick spouse, regardless of if they live in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.
The Department of Justice has also announced that it has completed its review of federal benefits and found that almost all federal benefits will be provided to same-sex couples, whether or not they live in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.
Social Security and veteran benefits cannot fully be extended to same-sex couples living in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage without Congressional action. The Respect for Marriage Act, which Thompson co-authored, would address this issue and extend all marriage benefits to same-sex couples, regardless of where they live.
Congressman Mike Thompson is proud to represent California’s 5th Congressional District, which includes all or part of Contra Costa, Lake, Napa, Solano and Sonoma Counties. He is a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. Rep. Thompson is also a member of the fiscally conservative Blue Dog Coalition and chairs the bipartisan, bicameral Congressional Wine Caucus.
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