Big gay marriage news out of Winston Salem NC

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    Sep 07, 2014 11:05 AM GMT
    Winston-Salem city government honors same-sex marriages to extend benefits
    Wesley Young/Winston-Salem Journal | Posted Yesterday

    Winston-Salem council members are slated to discuss giving employee benefits to same-sex partners, but in the meantime the city’s human resources director has announced that the city is already offering those benefits to same-sex couples who are married.

    In a letter sent to city employees Aug. 28, Human Resources Director Carmen Caruth said that the city would recognize marriage licenses from any state or U.S. jurisdiction for all city benefits, regardless of whether the couple is of the same or opposite sexes.

    What do you think about the city extending benefits to married same-sex couples?

    That decision went into effect immediately.

    Caruth cited a ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that overturned a gay-marriage ban in Virginia and a recent statement by N.C. Attorney General Roy Cooper that he would no longer defend the marriage amendment to the state constitution, which was passed in 2012 with 61 percent of voters voting in favor.

    “This means that if you are currently married to someone of the same sex, and have a valid marriage license from any state or U.S. jurisdiction, you can enroll your same sex spouse and children in all city benefits …” Caruth told employees in the letter.......................


    What makes this particularly interesting is that Forsyth county voted for the constitutional ban by 52% which is a lot for an urban area. For those who don't know NC politics rural areas are like the Deep South and the urban areas vote similarly to northern Va. Most of the Urban Counties voted agains or barely (by a few votes) for it. Ranking counties according to the vote on gay marriage ban would look like this:

    Durham and Orange County 75-80% against the ban
    Wake, Mecklenburg, Chatham, Buncomb firmly against (close to 60% against)
    Watauga, Dare, barley against
    Guilford, New Hanover barley passed with few votes to spare.
    Forsyth passed it with 52% making it more progressive than the rest of the state which voted for it by huge margins but behind the urban, college, tourist towns. So the fact that the city government is leading the way is great for the state as a whole.

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16414

    Sep 07, 2014 11:32 AM GMT
    Definitely nice.. glad to see this is happening in a place like North Carolina.