Even in Iowa, married gays are still unequal in work benefits

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June 30, 2009


"Three months have passed since the Iowa Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage, and gay couples are finding out that being married doesn't necessarily translate into spousal health benefits.

"Of 27 major Iowa and Nebraska employers contacted by The World-Herald, four provide health insurance benefits to gay married couples. Most employers have not changed their health insurance benefits to include gay spouses and, according to federal law, they don't have to.

"There isn't a conflict between state and federal laws, said Camilla Taylor, a lawyer for Lambda Legal, a New York City-based gay rights group.

"'That's simply an excuse for discrimination,' Taylor said. 'The federal law is a floor. ... Companies are free to do the right thing.'"

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