The United Parcel Service, which UPS announced that it would reverse its policy and extend health benefits to partners of those employees registered in civil unions. Of course the public outcry may also have had something to do with it.
Said UPS’ senior vice president for human resources Allen Hill: “Based on an initial legal review when New Jersey’s law was enacted, it did not appear that a ‘civil union’ and ‘marriage’ were equivalent. Over the past week, however, we have received clear guidance that at least in New Jersey, the state truly views civil union partners as married. We’ve heard that loud and clear from state officials and we’re happy to make this change.”
New Jersey’s Governor Jon Corzine last week made a personal request to the company to change its policy and Lambda Legal had been assisting couples requesting the benefits.
Said Lambda Legal’s David Buckel: “The problem, of course, is that it’s going to happen one family and one company at a time, when the Legislature could take care of all families in one fell swoop. If the Legislature opened up access to marriage to same-sex couples, the invitation to discriminate wouldn’t be there anymore.”