Allegheny County delays same-sex marriage benefits deadline

Written by The Associated Press | Jul 2, 2014 9:32 AM

Photo by AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Eric Horwith, left, and John Komisary, right, exchange rings in front of Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, center, who officiated during a marriage ceremony for 19 same-sex couples in the Pittsburgh City Council chambers, Sunday, June 15, 2014.

(Pittsburgh) -- One western Pennsylvania county is pushing back a deadline for its employees to marry their same-sex partners in order for those partners to keep health care and other benefits.

Allegheny County has 11 employees with same-sex partners receiving benefits, which were to be terminated August 1. 

But County Executive Rich Fitzgerald says that deadline is "too aggressive,'' so those employees will now be given through June 30, 2015 to marry. 

Allegheny County is changing the same-sex benefits policy now that a federal judge has allowed same-sex couples to marry in Pennsylvania.

The county once limited benefits to those married to county employees, but made an exception years ago for same-sex partners because they couldn't marry. 

Now homosexual couples can marry, the county is limiting benefits to spouses of employees.

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