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Monday, September 22, 2008

Dane County rewards same-sex partnerships with health care

The Dane County Board voted Thursday night to require companies that work for the county on contracts worth $5,000 or more to offer health benefits to their employees' domestic partners. The county already offers domestic partner benefits to its own employees.

The ordinance, which passed on a voice vote, also creates a registry for same-sex or other non-married domestic partners, a registry the city of Madison has had since 1990 but no other county in the state offers.

Domestic partners need to have been in a committed relationship for at least 90 days to register. The measure, which was introduced in July, goes into effect December 1. Sup. Kyle Richmond of Madison, primary sponsor of the ordinance which has been in the works for a year and a half, said the ordinance will make Dane County a leader in domestic partner benefits.

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