San Jose Will Recognize Same Sex Marriages

March 10, 2004 ( - San Jose has become the first city in California to officially recognize same-sex marriages of municipal employees.

The San Jose City Council voted 8-1 in favor of a motion providing more comprehensive health and retirement benefits to partners and family members of gay and lesbian city workers who get married in cities that allow same-sex marriages. The proposal was drafted by Mayor Ron Gonzales and city council member Key Yeager, who is openly gay, according to an Oakland Tribune report.

San Jose already provides domestic-partner benefits to 49 gay and lesbian municipal workers. However, what is unclear at this juncture is whether or not providers of health-care and retirement plans for San Jose’s city worker will also agree to extend the benefits.

Earlier this week, Seattle Mayor Gregory Nickels issued an executive order acknowledging the validity of marriages regardless of the sex of the individuals for purposes of city employee benefits.The order was handed down by the Democratic mayor to ensure the same sex marriages of city employees are recognized in the same manner that opposite sex marriages are recognized by the city for its employees. In addition, the decree affirms the “city’s support for gay marriage” (See Seattle Mayor Acknowledges Same Sex Marriages ).