Jefferson Co. monitoring how DOMA will affect employee benefits - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Jefferson Co. monitoring how DOMA will affect employee benefits

Source: WBRC Source: WBRC

Some Jefferson County officials are looking for help in wake of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling Wednesday about gay marriage.

The justices struck down the Defense of Marriage Act which says states where gay marriages is recognized can't discriminate when it comes to benefits for gay couples.

Alabama does not recognize gay marriage after voters approved a same-sex marriage ban in 2006. In the past Jefferson County has required common law married couples to provide an affidavit proving they are in a relationship. As to how the county will handle gay employees and their spouses remains to be seen.

Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King said as far as he knows there has been no request for marriage licenses by same sex couples in Jefferson County. King said if it happened he would need instruction either from the Alabama Attorney General or the state court system in Montgomery.

Meanwhile Jefferson County Manager Tony Petelos said the county may have to look at the question of providing county benefits and coverage for same sex couples if a county worker is involved.

"We will have our legal department look at it. We will have HR department look at it and we will abide by the law of the county, period," Petelos said.


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