poetics, time, body disruption and marginally queer solutions

Thursday, May 20, 2004

Same-sex spouses will get town benefits

If a town employee marries under the state's new same-sex marriage law, that employee is now eligible for benefits, just like any other employee's spouse.

While the town did not offer domestic partner benefits, it will recognize a same-sex marriage just as it would a more traditional marriage.

Town Manager George Howe said the town has no problem offering health insurance to same-sex spouses. "It's really a non-issue. The insurance carrier says it's not an issue, and for me it's not an issue."


Duke, YMCA dispute same-sex family policy
by Paul Crowley

It may be fun to stay at the YMCA, but the University will soon decide whether to stay with an agreement with the community group after a disagreement about the YMCA's policy for same-sex partners.

Officials representing the University and the YMCA of the Triangle Area will meet May 28 to discuss a conflict in the interpretation of a contract that provides discounted memberships to Duke employees and their dependents as part of the Duke Fitness Club. In return for this group discount, Duke promotes the YMCA to its employees.

The discrepancy stems from the billing status of same-sex partners, whom Duke contends should be charged at the family rate of $68 per month. The YMCA's policy calls for members of these couples to each pay the individual rate of $45 per month. The agreement itself uses language that is open to interpretation, stating that "employees or dependents" can qualify for the discounted memberships and that "the YMCA will be solely responsible for determining the means and methods for performing the described services set forth on the face of this contract."

"Essentially the [agreement] is that the Y would use our definition of family, which is broad and includes domestic partners and offspring," said John Burness, senior vice president for public affairs and government relations. He noted that the agreement was honored to Duke's satisfaction while the Downtown YMCA in Durham was under its previous management and that the problems arose when the Raleigh YMCA took over the management of the Durham branch. "The Raleigh Y is somewhat more dominant; they did not like that agreement, and they did not honor [it]," Burness added.


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