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Vermont law would require benefits for gay spouses

The Barre Montpelier Times Argus
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February 4, 2013

The state of Vermont may have given its blessing to gay marriage, but some employers here have yet to follow suit. And for the gay Vermonters working at national companies headquartered outside this state, the lack of recognition can mean more than hurt feelings. “There are people in the state who are not able to access health coverage simply because their spouse’s employer refuses to recognize their marriage,” says Rep. Paul Poirier, a Barre City independent. “We passed gay marriage, but a lot of people still can’t get the benefits of marriage.” Wal-Mart, for instance, extends health coverage to the spouses of its workers — unless they happen to be gay. According to Susan Donegan, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation, there’s nothing illegal about the unequal treatment.