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Lincoln extending benefits to same-sex spouses

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Lincoln's mayor has approved extending health insurance and other benefits to the same-sex spouses of city workers.

The Lincoln Journal Star reports that Mayor Chris Beutler decided to accept Blue Cross and Blue Shield's definition of marriage, which includes same-sex marriages. The city insurance carrier changed its definition of marriage following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that struck down a portion of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The spouses must show proof of marriage, which must have been performed in a state that allows same-sex marriage, in order to receive city benefits.

Last month Lancaster County officials decided not to extend most pension benefits to same-sex spouses of county employees, saying that doing so would have violated Nebraska's Defense of Marriage Amendment, which bars same-sex marriage.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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