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Married same-sex couples will be eligible for veterans benefits

In a letter to U.S. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) dated Sept. 4, Attorney General Eric Holder informed the Republican House Speaker that President Obama's administration will extend veterans benefits for married same-sex couples.

This comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling that struck down a key portion of the Defense of Marriage Act, and the Internal Revenue Service's Aug. 29 decision to allow same-sex married couples to file federal taxes together and share Medicare benefits.

Based on the court ruling, the administration will no longer enforce policies that restrict veteran benefits to legally married opposite-sex couples.

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UGA domestic partner benefits again on the hotseat

Ricky Roberts, an LGBT activist in Athens, Ga., and employee of the University of Georgia, is calling on local and state LGBT rights advocates to sign a petition calling for the university to offer domestic partner benefits to its gay and lesbian employees.

UGA began offering “soft” benefits to gay and lesbian employees back in May but fell short of offering many of the benefits, like health insurance, that advocates hoped.

Since then, a new school president has taken the helm at UGA and is not in favor of expanding domestic partner benefits, according to Roberts.

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UGA domestic partners may soon be eligible for some benefits

Domestic partners of University of Georgia employees may be eligible for some benefits by the end of the year, according to the Athens Banner-Herald.

UGA President Michael Adams said he wants to make available "soft" benefits to domestic partners, such as dental insurance, by the end of the year. According to the Athens Banner-Herald, Adams has written a letter to University System of Georgia Chancellor Hank Huckaby "asking for clarification to make sure he can also extend health insurance benefits to unmarried partners."

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Financial firm to push Ga.-based AFLAC to include domestic partner benefits

AFLAC

Trillium Asset Management will introduce a shareholder proposal on behalf of Equity Foundation of Portland, Ore., at a May 7 meeting to press AFLAC to change its corporate policy to begin allowing domestic partnership benefits for same-sex couples.

Jonas Kron, a vice president with Trillium, said today that the proposal is mostly symbolic, but he hopes the insurance company's board will take note of the importance of providing domestic partnership benefits to same-sex couples.

Aetna, AIG, Chubb, The Hartford, ING North America, MetLife, Nationwide, Unum, State Farm, Wellpoint, Humana, and Cigna all provide domestic partnership benefits, Kron says. AFLAC does not.

Savannah approves domestic partner benefits

Georgia Equality's Kevin Clark

The Savannah City Council voted unanimously last week to authorize the city manager to implement a domestic partner program for city employees. The vote was approved by the nine-member council at its Oct. 7 meeting.

Kevin Clark, chair of the Savannah chapter of Georgia Equality, said about 25 LGBT community activists attended the meeting.

“There was an outburst of enthusiastic applause after the vote,” he said shortly after the vote. “This is a historic and proud day for the city of Savannah.”