suntimes
PICTURESQUE 
Weather Updates

Exxon to offer benefits to same-sex couples in US

Updated: September 27, 2013 5:38PM



NEW YORK (AP) — Exxon says it will begin offering benefits to legally married same-sex couples in the U.S. for the first time as of Oct. 1.

The company says it will recognize “all legal marriages” when it determines eligibility for health care plans for the company’s 77,000 employees and retirees in the U.S.

That means if a gay employee has been married in a state or country where gay marriage is legal, his or her spouse will be eligible for benefits with Exxon starting next year.

Exxon Mobil Corp., which is facing a same-sex discrimination lawsuit in Illinois, said Friday it was following the lead of the U.S. government. In June, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, which allowed states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted in other states. And in recent months, federal agencies have begun to offer benefits to legally-married same sex couples.

“We haven’t changed our eligibility criteria. It has always been to follow the federal definition and it will continue to follow the federal definition,” said Exxon spokesman Alan Jeffers in an interview.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.