Domestic Partner Benefits Ordinance Upheld

June 15, 2001 ( - An ordinance requiring companies contracting with the city of San Francisco to provide the same benefits for domestic partners as they do for married couples, was upheld by the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals.

The constitutionality of the ordinance was challenged by S D Myers Inc, which argued that it was pre-empted by California’s domestic partners registry, enacted after a lower court ruled in favor of the city.

Senior Judge J Clifford Wallace and Judges Raymond Fisher and Johnnie Rawlinson, declared the ordinance narrow enough to avoid the commerce clause concerns cited by S D Myers.

The allegation that city and state laws are at odds, with reference to the domestic partners registry, was remanded to Judge Claudia Wilken, who originally tried the case since the state law was only enacted after the judgment was issued.

– Camilla Klein