Omaha Denies Some Benefits to Same-Sex Spouses

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert

Omaha Mayor Jean Stothert

(AP) — The City of Omaha says it will not offer health care and dental benefits to same-sex spouses of city employees covered by the police union contract.

Mayor Jean Stothert said in a statement Wednesday that officials determined the city’s health insurance policy does not include same-sex spouses in its definition of spouse. However, they are entitled to pension and flexible spending benefits in compliance with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling this year that extends a variety of federal benefits to same-sex spouses.

Stothert says the health care and dental benefits can be negotiated with the city’s unions.

John Wells, president of the Omaha Police Officers Association, says city officials are playing politics. He says his group will push for the benefits in future contract negotiations.