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California judge
rules against domestic-partner benefits

California judge
rules against domestic-partner benefits

Judge invalidates San Jose, Calif., city council measure to provide benefits to partners of gay employees

Gay and lesbian couples who are legally married outside the state of California cannot obtain benefits for their partners if they work for the city of San Jose, a Santa Clara County judge has ruled, The [San Jose] Mercury News reported Monday. In 2004 the San Jose city council voted to give same-sex couples the same benefits given to straight couples. However, conservative legal groups filed a lawsuit to stop the measure. Monday's ruling is largely symbolic and has little effect in San Jose, according to the newspaper, because only Massachusetts permits same-sex marriages. California's domestic-partnership law allows city workers who register to get benefits for their partners. "It's basically moot," San Jose city attorney Rick Doyle told the News. Still, conservative groups claimed a victory. They say they have blocked the city's attempt to recognize marriage equality for gay couples, according to the newspaper. Superior court judge Mary Jo Levinger wrote in her ruling that the city council's efforts "to recognize all marriages of city employees certified by other jurisdictions is contrary to California law and is therefore preempted. Furthermore, only marriages between a man and a woman may be recognized by the city of San Jose." (Advocate.com)

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