Walmart to Offer Health Insurance to Same-Sex Couples, Domestic Partners

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walmart-signThe nation’s largest retailer, the second-largest employer behind only the federal government, said domestic partners of its U.S. employees will be eligible starting Jan. 1 in a postcard mailed to workers this week.

The change will cover same-sex couples, as well as domestic partners of opposite genders who have been living together and in a committed relationship for at least a year.

The move comes just months after the Supreme Court overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, which previously defined marriage as between a man and a woman. The ruling meant that married same-sex couples in a dozen states and the District of Columbia are now eligible for more than 1,000 spousal benefits previously off limits under DOMA.

Since Walmart operates in all 50 states, it was important to the retailer to develop a single definition for all workers and have consistency across the country, according to spokesman Randy Hargrove.

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