Ga. university changes gay couples' benefits

Published On: Jun 30 2014 04:33:57 PM EDT
Updated On: Jun 30 2014 04:34:50 PM EDT
ATLANTA -

Married same-sex couples will get tax benefits equal to heterosexual couples through a retirement plan offered by the University System of Georgia.

The system's governing board approved the change on Monday.

Gay marriage remains a contentious issue in Georgia. A lawsuit is targeting the voter-approved constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

University system officials have said the change was prompted by IRS guidance after the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision striking part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act only allowing marriage between a man and a woman.

Vice Chancellor of Human Resources Marion Fedrick says the change doesn't affect the university system's finances. About 27,240 employees use the affected Optional Retirement Plan.

Since Georgia doesn't recognize same-sex marriage, spouses won't be eligible for any other benefits including health care.

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