Gay partner benefits growing at Fortune 500 firms

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The nation's largest gay rights group says corporate support for gay and transgender workers is reaching new corners of the country and the economy six months after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The Human Rights Campaign found that more than two-thirds of Fortune 500 companies and 90 percent of all the large employers it surveyed are now offering health insurance and other spousal benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of their employees.

In a report card scheduled to be issued Monday, the campaign says that retail giant Wal-Mart, Hormel Foods and fast-food chain Wendy's are among the corporations extending the benefits for the first time next year.

The group's 12th annual Corporate Equality Index also found a record number of businesses adopting policies prohibiting discrimination against transgender workers and job applicants.