Townsend supports benefits for same-sex domestic partners

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Democrat Kathleen Kennedy Townsend said yesterday that she supports extending benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of state employees, but would wait until Maryland's budget situation improves to propose such a change.

During an interview on WYPR radio's Marc Steiner Show, the lieutenant governor said that "down the line, I think it makes sense" to make such a change to state policy.

In answering the question on the show, Townsend incorrectly said domestic-partner benefits are given to employees of the University System of Maryland. The system's Board of Regents has appointed a task force to study the issue but has not made a final decision. The Johns Hopkins University granted such benefits to its employees in 1999.

A spokeswoman for Townsend's Republican opponent, Rep. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., said he has not taken a position on the issue.

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