Gay Marriage

Having Legalized Gay Marriage, MD Ends Benefits for Domestic Partners

Which has its downsides

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The O'Malley administration has notified state employees in same-sex relationships that they won't be able to include domestic partners in their health insurance anymore.

If they want coverage, they'll have to get married.

The policy change is the result of the new Maryland law allowing same-sex marriage, which took effect Jan. 1. The thinking is that offering health coverage to an unmarried same-sex partner doesn't make sense anymore, officials said, particularly since an unmarried heterosexual partner doesn't have the same right.

But the move by the administration — which introduced domestic partner benefits in 2009 and championed marriage equality last year — has drawn polite dissent from some of the administration's staunchest allies.

"It's really not the most equitable thing to be doing right now," said Carrie Evans, executive director of the gay and lesbian rights group Equality Maryland.