UNCG opens benefits to married same-sex couples

0
160

UNCG employees received an email from the university’s human resources department on Tuesday announcing “that same-sex spouses of employees are now eligible for coverage under the State Health Plan and NCFlex benefits program.”

The email cited the decision by US District Court Judge Max Cogburn overturning the state of North Carolina’s ban on same-sex marriage as “a qualifying life event.”

“As a result, if you are an eligible employee who was married in North Carolina or another state that recognized same-sex marriage prior to October 13, 2014, you have 30 days (until November 11, 2014) to enroll your same-sex spouse for benefits coverage through the university,” the email reads. “A marriage certificate will be necessary to verify your spouse an an eligible member. Coverage for your spouse will be effective November 1, 2014.”

Derek Krueger, a professor of religious studies, is among those celebrating the decision. Krueger and his husband¬†Gene Rogers, also a professor at UNCG, were married in a religious ceremony at St. Mary’s House in Greensboro in 2006 without the sanction of the state of North Carolina. They also were also legally married in the District of Columbia in April. Krueger said they had “no idea how long we’d have to wait for justice and recognition in NC.”

Krueger posted on his Facebook page on Tuesday: “Granted, Gene and I are both employees and don’t need to take advantage of this, but somehow, this seems even more surprising (as in: I never thought I’d see the day…) than the mandated validity of our marriage. McCrory’s and Tillis’s and Berger’s government has to treat our families as equal. Now, I’m fully aware that there are reasonable arguments against the idea that a state-defined marriage should be required for legal protections and benefits. But this is real change and real justice.”