Kansas City To Extend Pension Benefits To Same-Sex Couples | KCUR

Kansas City To Extend Pension Benefits To Same-Sex Couples

Dec 11, 2014

Update, 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 11:

The Kansas City, Mo., City Council voted Thursday to extend city pension benefits currently offered to couples in conventional marriages to legally-married same-sex couples.

“So this is just one more example of our commitment to being inclusive to all of our citizens in Kansas City,” Councilwoman Jan Marcason said before the unanimous vote.

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Gary O'Bannon of the city's human resources department explained that until this past week, such inclusion was in violation of Missouri law, which prohibited recognizing the non-traditional marriages.

That changed this week when a Jackson County judge ruled that Republican leadership in the Missouri General Assembly could not challenge an October decision declaring Missouri's gay-marriage ban unconstitutional.

O'Bannon said the city has a long history of being LGBT-friendly and, for example, has offered participation in health care plans to domestic partners of employees for some time.  However, the legal technicality of the marriage definition issue prevented similar equal treatment in pension matters.

The ordinance cleared the Finance Governance and Ethics Committee unanimously and several members expressed confidence it would also sail through the full council vote.