Utah Court Rules Domestic Partner Benefits Ordinance Legal

May 23, 2006 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A Utah state court has determined that an ordinance approved by Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson giving same-sex domestic partners of city workers some of the benefits provided to spouses does not violate state law.

Business Insurance reports that, in its ruling, the court said the Mayor’s decree did not appear to create “any legal status, rights, benefits or duties that are substantially equivalent to those provided under Utah law to a man and a woman because they are married.”  The court noted that health benefits are not a perquisite of marriage, but of employment.

In September the Utah state agency that provides insurance to state workers and those of Salt Lake City asked the court to decide if the Mayor’s ordinance violated the state’s Defense of Marriage Law (See Utah State Agency Seeks Court Domestic Partner Benefit Decision).

The Adult Designee Benefit took effect March 3, 2006 and extends employee health insurance benefits to an employee’s dependents, including spouse and children and the “adult designee” of an unmarried employee, as well as the children of the adult designee, according to Business Insurance.