July 31, 2013 | by Staff reports
California system approves coverage for gay spouses
wedding, marriage, gay marriage, same-sex marriage, marriage equality, gay news, Washington Blade

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is holding an open-enrollment period for same-sex couples that were married before Proposition 8 took effect. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

FRESNO, Calif. — CalPERS — the California Public Employees’ Retirement System — is holding an open-enrollment period for same-sex couples that were previously married, the Fresno Bee reported last week.

The period, which started the week of July 24, is for gay couples that married before the court decisions outlawed same-sex marriage in the state, the article said.

Because of DOMA, gay employees on CalPERS’ health plan were allowed to enroll their spouses but had to pay federal taxes on their partners’ benefits.

The Supreme Court declared part of DOMA unconstitutional June 26, the same day it advanced legal gay marriage in California by refusing to rule on Proposition 8.

With DOMA gone, CalPERS members no longer have to worry about the tax consequences if they enroll their spouses in the health plan, the Fresno Bee reported. A one-time exception to the CalPERS’ policy that spouses must be enrolled within 60 days — a problem for some gay and lesbian couples who wed in 2008 — was approved, the Bee said.

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