High court ruling leads to benefits for same-sex partners

July 3, 2015

Dear faculty and staff,

I was pleased to hear about the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last week that makes same-sex marriage legal in all states. This is a positive advancement on many levels. Across the U.S., it creates a stronger culture of diversity and inclusion — principles that are inherent to a public university’s mission and principles that we hold dear as an institution of higher education.

The ruling also opens the door for the spouses and dependents of our employees in same-sex marriages to receive tangible, important benefits such as health insurance coverage. As noted in the Employees Retirement System of Texas (ERS) message, the agency has made the necessary changes to extend the same coverages and services to same-sex spouses and their dependent children that opposite-sex couples have been receiving. This applies to all state agency and higher education employees and retired employees eligible for the Texas Employees Group Benefits Program. You can learn more on the ERS site. Don’t forget that our annual open enrollment period occurs this month. 

This change is an important step forward, and I’m excited that this ruling brings more equality for all of our employees.

UNT Proud,

Neal Smatresk