The ability of Utah's public employees to share their health insurance with a same-sex partner could be extended beyond liberal outposts in Salt Lake and Summit counties to the farthest reaches of the state.
Rep. Brian Doughty, a Salt Lake City Democrat and the state's only openly gay lawmaker, has filed a bill that would allow unmarried state employees to share employee benefits with an "adult designee" instead of a spouse. It's similar to programs provided by Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County governments. A designee may be any cohabiting, financially inter-dependent adult, such as an aging parent or a gay partner.
"As Utahns, we're not all husband-and-wife-and-kids households. We've got disabled siblings, parents who live with their children and various other forms of families," Doughty said. "I see insurance as a benefit that is earned by being a contributing employee. This bill would expand the flexibility of how employees use their insurance."