Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the U.S. Department of Labor on Wednesday for recognizing same-sex marriage under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
A revised definition under the law will recognize same-sex married couples if the marriage occurred in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage. The new rule, which is set to take effect March 27, would direct state agencies to give couples in same-sex marriages family and medical leave benefits.
Paxton alleged the rule change is a violation of federal statue because Texas does not recognize same-sex marriage. He advised Texas state agencies to follow the state law and not federal rules.
“This lawsuit is about defending the sovereignty of our state, and we will continue to protect Texas from the unlawful overreach of the federal government,” Paxton said. “The newly revised definition of ‘spouse’ under the FMLA is in direct violation of state and federal laws and U.S. Constitution. Texans have clearly defined the institution of marriage in our state, and attempts by the Obama administration to disregard the will of our citizens through the use of new federal rules is unconstitutional and an affront to the foundations of federalism.”
Paxton is seeking a temporary and permanent injunction against the Department of Labor to prevent the rule from taking effect in Texas.