Balto. Co. to Extend Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses in January

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Decision follows arbitrator's ruling in police union case
December 15, 2011


"Beginning in January, Baltimore County will grant health care benefits to spouses of employees in same-sex marriages if they are legally married in other states, County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced Thursday.
"The decision comes a month after an arbitrator ruled in favor of two county police officers whose same-sex spouses had been denied benefits by the county in August 2010. County officials had 30 days to decide whether to appeal the arbitrator's ruling, which said the county had violated the women's union contract...
"The officers are pleased that the case led to a policy change for the county, said their lawyer, Susan Sommer of the organization Lambda Legal.
"'It's a right that should belong to all county employees married to same-sex spouses out of state,' Sommer said. 'It's too bad that it took a legal action by these two police officers to achieve this result, but we are very pleased, as are our clients, that not only will their spouses get the benefits now, but other married same-sex couples will be treated fairly now by the county...'"
Read more in the Baltimore Sun.