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Blue Cross extends same-sex benefits

July 29, 2008 at 1:28 PM

BUFFALO, N.Y., July 29 (UPI) -- A New York health insurer says it will institute coverage of same-sex couples married in Canada as a result of a civil rights lawsuit.

The New York Civil Liberties Union announced Monday that Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Western New York, based in Buffalo, will begin extending spousal benefits to legally married same-sex couples, Canwest News Service reported.

The decision comes after the group filed suit in the case of a lesbian couple from the United States who were married in Canada.

"We applaud Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Western New York for following the law and treating all married couples the same," Donna Lieberman, NYCLU executive director, told CanWest in a statement.

Same-sex marriage is illegal in New York, but the couple had traveled to Canada to be legally married in 2006, the news service said.

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