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Latah County Court Clerk Denied Same-Sex Benefits

SUNDAY, OCT. 5, 1997

Stacey Chapman says she just wants equality in the Latah County Courthouse, but her efforts to add domestic partners to an employee’s insurance benefits have been denied.

“We should include both same-sex and opposite-sex partners because the definition of the family is changing,” Chapman, a deputy clerk, said.

“I think people need to be recognized that they’re in a committed, loving relationship, whether it be gay, lesbian or straight,” she said. “They consider their significant other their family.”

Chapman’s partner, Amy Wilson, does not need the coverage from the policy. The two were “holy union married” in 1992 before moving to Moscow.

The county’s insurance contract with QualMed recognizes only employees, their spouses and children for health coverage. A spouse is defined as being in a legal union between two people of the opposite sex, according to state law.

The county commissioners voted against changing the policy to extend the options for benefits to Chapman and at least one other courthouse employee.

“It would just be a bucket of worms to start with,” Commissioner Harry DeWitt said. “What’s a domestic partnership? Is it same sex, different sex?”



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