DOJ asks Texas judge to reconsider ruling blocking FMLA benefits for same-sex couples

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AUSTIN, Texas — The U.S. Justice Department is asking a federal judge in Texas to reconsider his order temporarily blocking federal rules that would have expanded medical leave benefits to some gay couples.

In a filing Tuesday, attorneys sought an April 13 hearing to argue that the preliminary injunction shouldn’t have been issued.

Last week, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor in Wichita Falls stayed expansion of the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act to include same-sex couples.

That ruling came after Texas sued to block the change, which would have taken effect March 27.

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton argued that complying would have forced state agencies to either violate federal rules or a 2005 gay-marriage ban in the Texas Constitution.

Arkansas, Louisiana and Nebraska joined Texas’ lawsuit.

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