Now that same-sex marriage is legal in Maryland, the state will no longer offer domestic partner benefits for its employees. According to the Baltimore Sun, the O’Malley administration notified employees in same-sex relationships that they would have to get married to receive health coverage. Fewer than 300 employees, including retirees, would be affected.
The state granted domestic partner benefits in 2009 because same-sex couples could not get married then. Same-sex marriage became legal on Jan. 1.
The news was met with some objection. “It’s really not the most equitable thing to be doing right now,” Carrie Evans, executive director of Equality Maryland told the Sun.
But O’Malley spokesperson Raquel Guillory noted that if two paths to benefits are offered to same-sex couples but only one to opposite-sex couples, the state could face lawsuits. The changes would go into effect next Jan. 1, but that is subject to change.