Texas Sues to Block Family Medical Leave for Same-sex Married Couples

The state of Texas sued the U.S. Labor Department over a rule that would grant family medical leave protections to all married same-sex couples, saying it violates the rights of states that don’t recognize gay marriage.

The lawsuit filed on Wednesday in federal court in Wichita Falls, Texas is the first challenge to the department’s rule, which is set to take effect on March 27.

The rule will require companies to follow the marriage laws of the states in which their employees were wed, rather than where they reside, for the purpose of applying the federal Family and Medical Leave Act. That law requires employers to grant workers unpaid leave after giving birth or to care for sick family members.

President Barack Obama last year first announced the so-called “place of celebration” rule in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in June 2013 in United States v. Windsor, which said the Defense of Marriage Act, the federal law that defined marriage as a heterosexual union, was unconstitutional.