Do employers have to offer the same benefits to same-sex spouses as opposite-sex spouses?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Do employers have to offer the same benefits to same-sex spouses as opposite-sex spouses?

The religious organization that I work for in Maryland refused to provide health
insurance to my same-sex spouse even though they offer it to opposite-sex
employee spouses. I was not informed of this policy when I was hired.

Asked on February 4, 2019 under Employment Labor Law, Maryland


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

In your state (Maryland), yes, your employer must provide the same benefits to same-sex married couples as to opposite-sex married couples. 1) As you undoubtedly know, same sex marriage is legal in MD; and 2) MD law prohibits discriminating against employees--so treating them differently or worse--on the basis of sexual orientation. Therefore, the same benefits must be offered to same-sex couples as opposite-sex couples. Here is a link to the state commission on civil rights, to whom you may wish to make a complaint:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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