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Gay Airline Employee Wants Equal Benefits


A baggage agent for SkyWest Airlines in California says that his employer refuses to give his husband the free fares it provides to straight spouses, in breach of a state law that requires employers to treat same-sex spouses equally.

Employee Gilbert Caldwell married David Farrell in June 2008, and existing marriages were upheld by the state supreme court in spite of Proposition 8. In a new kind of case, Caldwell, 56, is asking SkyWest to treat Farrell, 72, the same way it does the spouses of his straight coworkers, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

"The case is one of the first discrimination complaints to surface by any of the 18,000 same-sex couples who married in California before the November 2008 passage of Proposition 8, which amended the state Constitution to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman," reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Caldwell, who is being represented by Lambda Legal, plans to sue for damages unless SkyWest changes its policy.

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