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Meck official asks why county still provides same-sex benefits

Charlotte, N.C.

CHARLOTTE (AP) — A Mecklenburg County commissioner is asking why the county still provides benefits to same-sex partners of their employees three months after North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment slamming the door on same-sex marriages.

The Charlotte Observer reports that commissioner Bill James sent an email to county officials saying the county can’t offer benefits for a “spousal-like” relationship.

Sixty-one percent of North Carolina voters approved in May to change the state constitution to declare that marriage between a man and woman is the only domestic legal union. Same-sex marriage already was illegal in North Carolina.

Twelve Mecklenburg County employees receive domestic-partner benefits.

County commissioners voted in 2009 to extend health benefits to same-sex partners starting last year. The Charlotte City Council voted in June to extend benefits for city employees.