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Message Regarding Same-Sex Spousal Benefits

October 8, 2014

To the U.Va. Community:

This week, the U.S. Supreme Court made a landmark decision not to review the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision legalizing gay marriage in Virginia. This effectively allows same-sex marriages to be legally recognized in the Commonwealth. Yesterday, Governor McAuliffe signed an executive order directing state agencies to comply with same-sex marriage ruling.
The University of Virginia is moving swiftly in response to these actions. The U.Va. Health Plan offers health benefits to legally recognized spouses in the Commonwealth of Virginia who have no access to affordable health coverage of minimum value through his or her employer. As a result of the court decision, same-sex spouses are now eligible for coverage through the U.Va. Health Plan, including same-sex marriages that were performed in other states. The legal ruling changes the definition of legally recognized spouses, allowing U.Va. to extend coverage with no changes to the Health Plan. Children of same-sex spouses are also eligible for coverage as step-children.
Faculty and staff who have questions about eligibility or enrollment can call the HR Service Center at 434.982.0123 or visit   
We have made a similar change in our student health plan.  I have also asked the vice presidents to review their portfolios for other University policies that may need revision, such as family housing, hospital visiting regulations, and spousal hiring assistance.
At the University of Virginia, we promote an inclusive environment that embraces the full spectrum of human attributes, and we are fully committed to diversity in all its forms. I am grateful to all of the members of our community who uphold these high standards.
Teresa A. Sullivan