Lincoln, Neb., mayor approves benefits for city workers’ same-sex spouses

Lincoln, Neb. Staff Reports

LINCOLN, Neb. — Lincoln mayor Chris Beutler has approved changes that will allow same-sex spouses of city employees to receive health insurance and other benefits.

Beutler’s decision to accept Blue Cross and Blue Shield’s definition of marriage, which includes same-sex marriages, opens the door to city benefits being extended to same-sex spouses of city employees, reports the Lincoln Journal Star.

“The city accepted the new definition because it doesn’t make sense to deny legally married same-sex couples the same insurance benefits that we grant to other legally married couples,” said Rick Hoppe, Beutler’s chief of staff.

The spouses must show proof of marriage, which must have been performed in a state that allows same-sex marriage, in order to receive city benefits.

The change comes following a decision by county officials last month not to extend most pension benefits to same-sex spouses of county employees, claiming it would violate the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.

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