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NC county official questions same-sex benefits

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CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) -- A Mecklenburg County commissioner is asking why the county still provides benefits to same-sex partners of their employees three months after North Carolina voters approved a constitutional amendment slamming the door on same-sex marriages.

The Charlotte Observer reports that commissioner Bill James sent an email to county officials saying the county can't offer benefits for a "spousal-like" relationship.

Sixty-one percent of North Carolina voters approved in May to change the state constitution to declare that marriage between a man and woman is the only domestic legal union. Same-sex marriage already was illegal in North Carolina.

Twelve Mecklenburg County employees receive domestic-partner benefits.

County commissioners voted in 2009 to extend health benefits to same-sex partners starting last year. The Charlotte City Council voted in June to extend benefits for city employees.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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