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Pension to pay widower in same-sex marriage case, lawyer says

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 10, 2016

A union pension fund has reversed course and will pay widower’s benefits to a San Francisco man whose late husband was a union member, the man’s lawyer says.

Robert Pritchard had sued the pension plan of Stationary Engineers Local 39 of the International Union of Operating Engineers in January for refusing to recognize his marriage to Thomas Conwell or pay him benefits after Conwell died of a brain disease in February 2012. The pension plan told Pritchard that Conwell had been “single at the time of his retirement and death.”

Pritchard’s lawsuit noted that the pension plan had defined a spouse as “a person to whom a participant is legally married,” without reference to gender. The two had wed in 2008 after the state Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in California.

Read the whole story at SF Gate

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