WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Winston-Salem is now offering employee benefits to married same-sex couples.
QNotes reports that Winston-Salem human resources director Carmen Caruth said in a letter to city employees on Aug. 28, that the city would recognize all legal marriage licenses from any state or other U.S. jurisdiction, including same-sex couples.
The directive allows married employees to enroll their same-sex spouses and children in all city employee benefits.
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.
“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, according to The Winston-Salem Journal.
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.