US: Missouri fire department can’t extend same-sex partner benefits

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A Missouri fire department won’t consider extending same-sex partner benefits because the state constitution won’t allow it.

The Ozark Fire Department in Missouri was preparing to change its policy so that it could offer benefits to an employee who was married out-of-state.

In a recent meeting, three of the five board members said they were prepared to change the department’s policy in order to recognize same-sex marriages performed out-of-state, but decided to hold off on a vote until their next meeting.

The board’s attorney wrote a letter after the board’s most recent meeting saying Missouri’s constitution does not allow the policy change.

According to the attorney, Missouri statutes restrict the fire department’s board from making decisions regarding benefits for employees, their spouses and children.

The employee, Captain Andi Mooneyham, is seeking other legal options to gain benefits.

A California man is currently suing his former employer, Little Caesars, because it allegedly did not provide his husband with healthcare benefits.

Recently, the city of West Palm Beach in Florida started requiring contractors who do business with the city to offer equal family benefits to employees, including those in same-sex relationships.