CHARLOTTE, N.C. — City Council is due to consider cutting same-gender couples’ domestic partner benefits at their next business meeting on July 27.
Council will consider the change on Monday, following a recommendation from City Human Resources Director Cheryl Brown following June’s landmark same-gender marriage decision by the U.S. Supreme Court.
“In light of the recent United States Supreme Court decision in Obergefell v. Hodges relating to state recognition of same-sex marriages under the Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution,” wrote Brown in a memo released Thursday with Council’s next agenda, “staff recommends ending the policy offering coverage for same-sex domestic partners at the expiration of the current benefit plan year (December 31, 2015), and offering benefit coverage to legal spouses of all qualifying City employees, whether same-sex or opposite-sex spouses, effective at the beginning of the next benefit plan year (January 1, 2016). With the recent ruling, same-sex couples now have the option of legally-recognized marriage; therefore, this change will treat both same-sex couples and opposite-sex couples the same.”
According to the memo, only 19 employees or retirees have opted into the domestic partner benefits, which are offered only to same-gender couples.
As legal marriage has opened up to same-gender couples across the U.S., some companies have dropped domestic partner benefits. Others, including Wells Fargo, which has a large Charlotte presence, have opted to keep the benefits.