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HR on Capitol Hill: Specter flips on same-sex marriage

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in FMLA Guidelines,HR Management,Human Resources

Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania’s senior senator, switched parties from Republican to Democrat in April, and now he’s changed his mind about the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). His support for pending legislation to repeal DOMA, which limits federal government recognition of same-sex marriage, could be crucial—and could affect HR.

Under DOMA, for example, only opposite-sex married couples may take FMLA leave to care for an ill spouse. DOMA applies even to states that allow same-sex marriage.

Specter voted for the bill’s passage in 1996. He now claims “the act is a relic of a more tradition-bound time and culture” and he believes “states are the proper forum to address this divisive social and moral issue.”
Congressman Joe Sestak, a Democrat running to unseat Specter in the 2010 Democratic primary campaign, criticized the senator’s change of heart on DOMA as an “attempt to run away from his 30-year Republican record.”

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