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Municipalities and Corporations

Municipalities have been generally more likely than states to grant same-sex couples the benefits of marriage than states. Since Berkeley passed the first domestic partnership law in 1984, dozens of cities and municipalities have enacted domestic partner-ship policies, including New York City and San Francisco. Although these policies do not legalize same-sex marriages (only the states can do that), they provide that same-sex couples will be treated the same as heterosexual couples under city ordinances and for such employment related purposes as health and disability benefits.

Many corporations, including companies such as Disney, Microsoft and IBM, also provide same-sex couples with the same benefits as married couples. This trend appears to be growing. According to the American Bar Association, as of March 2005, more than 7,600 private sector companies offered domestic partnership health benefits, and slightly less than half of all Fortune 500 companies did so as well.

Inside Municipalities and Corporations