Main | Monday, September 08, 2014

NORTH CAROLINA: Winston-Salem Recognizes Out-Of-State Marriages

Via the Winston-Salem Journal:
In a letter sent to city employees Aug. 28, Human Resources Director Carmen Caruth said that the city would recognize marriage licenses from any state or U.S. jurisdiction for all city benefits, regardless of whether the couple is of the same or opposite sexes. That decision went into effect immediately. Caruth cited a ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that overturned a gay-marriage ban in Virginia and a recent statement by N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper that he would no longer defend the marriage amendment to the state constitution, which was passed in 2012 with 61 percent of voters voting in favor. “This means that if you are currently married to someone of the same sex, and have a valid marriage license from any state or U.S. jurisdiction, you can enroll your same sex spouse and children in all city benefits …” Caruth told employees in the letter.
More from Q Notes:
LGBT advocates in the state believe it’s the first time a city or other jurisdiction in the state has fully recognized legal, out-of-state same-sex marriages. Other municipalities have had domestic partner benefit programs for some time, but none have gone as far as Winston-Salem, accepting married LGBT couples in the pre-existing definition for spouses of employees. Winston-Salem currently does not offer domestic partner benefits to unmarried couples. City Council members are expected to discuss a new plan in a Council community development, housing and general government committee meeting on Tuesday. Meanwhile, legally married couples regardless of gender can enroll their spouses during a special enrollment period ending Oct. 31.
Winston-Salem is the fourth most populous city in North Carolina.

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