Legislation would offer benefits to same-sex partners of Delaware employees

As posted by Doug Denison on sussexcountian.com:

"A House committee approved legislation June 2 that would allow the same-sex domestic partners of state workers to purchase health insurance and receive some pension payments under Delaware’s employee benefits plans.

"Sponsor Rep. Teresa Schooley, D-Newark, told the House Appropriations Committee at a hearing that the bill addresses a matter of equal rights.

“'It seems like a point of fairness that folks should be offered this opportunity,' she said.

... "In addition to offering health insurance coverage, the bill also allows a same-sex partner of a state worker, termed a 'spousal equivalent' in the legislation, to collect pension benefits upon the death of the beneficiary.

"To prove domestic partnership, the bill would require the couple to sign an affidavit and produce some documentation of a quasi-marital relationship, like a joint deed or bank account.
Schooley said the bill, if enacted, would affect as many as 460 of the 34,000 people currently covered by state benefits plans.

... "Drew Fennell, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Delaware, said the bill moves in the right direction.

“'I think it’s a good step toward equal pay for equal work,' she said. 'At least for those who need [state insurance] it would be available.'”

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