State Considers New Same Sex Partner Benefits

The Alaska State Personnel Board is considering including Same-sex partners in the definition of “immediate family.” The proposed change in rules would allow state employees to take family leave due to a serious health condition of a same-sex partner.

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Same-sex marriage is not legal in Alaska because of a state constitutional amendment, but Deputy Personnel Director Nancy Sutch says the proposed change in rules stems from a recent review of a 2005 Alaska Supreme Court decision. That decision says it is unconstitutional to offer valuable benefits to spouses but not to same-sex domestic partners. The personnel board plans to consider the changes at its September 19th meeting in Anchorage.