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White House Pushes For Equal Marriage Benefits For Same-Sex Couples05:12

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The Obama administration says gay and lesbian workers should be allowed to take leave for a spouse who is ill, just like heterosexual couples. The provision would apply to private workers, including in states that do not recognize gay marriage.

It's one of a wide range of proposals the White House is announcing today to make sure that same-sex couples have the full range of marriage benefits and rights that are available to straight married couples.

Today's proposals come after a year-long review by the Justice Department of all federal laws and statutes affected by the Supreme Court's ruling last year striking down section three of the Defense of Marriage Act. President Obama had ordered that review "to ensure the decision, including its implications for Federal benefits and obligations, was implemented swiftly and smoothly."

The Justice Department says that under current laws, Social Security and Veterans benefits are determined by where a person lives, meaning same-sex couples living in states that do not recognize their marriage are not eligible for all the benefits provided to other married couples. The White House is asking Congress to pass laws to address that discrepancy.

Sarah Warbelow, legal director for the Human Rights Campaign, joins Here & Now's Jeremy Hobson to discuss what this means for U.S. same-sex couples.


This segment aired on June 20, 2014.

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