Today, the Maryland Human Resources Manager sent an e-mail notification to all members of the State legislature indicating that the state would now accept valid marriage certificates from other states.

This action was initated back on February 24th when Attorney General Gansler determined (against current law) that Maryland would recognize out of state same sex marriages for the purpose of benifits. I brought Impeachment Charges against the A/G for violating Maryland law.

Now I must consider bringing a law suit against the state for violating Maryland and Federal law by allowing certain tax and health benifits to same sex couples.
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From: O’Connor, Robyn
Sent: Wednesday, May 19, 2010 9:27 AM
To: MD House of Delegates; Senate of Maryland; Walker, Joy; Oakes, Barbara
Subject: FW: IMPORTANT BENEFIT UPDATE CONCERNING SAME-SEX SPOUSES
Importance: High

As you know, the State recently determined that it can accept valid marriage certificates for same-sex couples. In late April, the Employee Benefits Division in Baltimore received legal advice on what actions were needed to allow for the enrollment of same-sex spouses in the benefit program and have begun implementing those changes. In order not to delay offering this opportunity to State of Maryland employees and retirees, we are accepting enrollment of same-sex spouses for a July 1, 2010 effective date, immediately.

Those individuals who already possess a valid marriage certificate from a jurisdiction that authorizes such unions, may complete an enrollment form to cover the spouse for a July 1, 2010 effective date. Human Resources will forward completed forms to the Employee Benefits Division. All forms must be received by close of business on June 2, 2010.

Following Open Enrollment, as individuals marry their same sex partners, they can add the spouse under the usual qualified family status change process (i.e. submit the enrollment form, spouse tax affidavit and valid marriage certificate within 60 days of the marriage).

Please note that unless the same-sex spouse qualifies as a tax dependent as determined by the IRS, imputed income will still apply to the portion of the State subsidy attributable to the same-sex spouse’s coverage in the same manner it applies for domestic partners. For a same-sex spouse to be entitled to federal pre-tax/tax-free benefits coverage as a dependent, the individual must meet the following requirements:

1) The individual does not meet the “qualifying relative” tests in relation to the employee/retiree;

2) The individual must live with the employee/retiree all year as a member of the employee’s/retiree’s household (and the relationship must not violate local law); and

3) The employee/retiree must provide more than half of the individual’s support for the year.

Employees with questions may contact Human Resources

Lori L. Mathis, PHR
Human Resources Manager
Maryland General Assembly
Department of Legislative Services
90 State Circle – Rm 311
Annapolis, MD 21401