MD Same-Sex Marriage Law Jeopardizes Domestic Partnerships

May 14, 2013

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The legalization of same-sex marriage in Maryland has one downside for same-sex partnerships.

No new domestic partners will be able to enroll for state health benefits beginning in July and no domestic partners will be covered.

Robin Sabatini with the Department of Budget and Management said that there are around 280 active and retired state workers who are covering a same-sex domestic partner.

Same-sex domestic partner benefits were first granted in 2009 because same-sex domestic couples are not eligible for health insurance while opposite-sex couples were only eligible through marriages.

Under the referendum approved by Maryland voters last year same-sex couples could marry beginning January 1st which sparked the change in the state’s health benefits coverage.

But marriage equality advocates say that because not all same-sex partners want to get married eliminating coverage for domestic partner is problematic.

Under the federal Defense of Marriage Act same-sex married couples lack federal benefits including a spouse’s Social Security benefits and filing joint tax returns.

(see: Salisbury Daily Times)