WASHINGTON - (AP) - The Labor Department is ready to tellemployers they must give gay workers the same opportunity asheterosexual ones to take unpaid time off to care for theirpartners' newborns or loved ones.

Two officials briefed on the policy changes said Monday thatLabor Secretary Hilda Solis would announce the decision onWednesday. The officials would only speak on the condition ofanonymity ahead of the announcement.

The Family and Medical Leave Act allows workers to take up to 12weeks of unpaid leave each year to take care of loved ones orthemselves. The 1993 law also allows employees to take time foradoption but previously only applied that to heterosexual couples.

The Labor Department planned to extend those rights based on anew interpretation of the law.