Even if the county of Baltimore initially had refused that two lesbian police officers extend health benefits to their spouses, finally, they won the right to do it.
It is indeed an independent arbiter who ruled the right for the spouses of Margaret Selby and Juanika Ballard (both get married in 2009 in different states).
Both officers filed separate grievances with the county in August 2010 when the county started deducting premiums from their paychecks for spousal coverage, The Baltimore Sun reports.
"My wife Monica, like other police officers' spouses, worries that I will be hurt in the line of duty," Juanika said. "No one can predict the future, but these benefits provide the safety net that other married couples have."
"I've put my life on the line to protect the people of Baltimore County," Selby said in a Lambda Legal statement. "Like all my fellow officers, I need spousal benefits so that I can protect my family," Margaret added.
The arbiter has decided that, since marriages had took place in states allowing gay marriage and Maryland common law principles "recognize out-of-state marriage", then the couples were to be regarded as married and to obtain all rights which, as a married couple, they should have.
Even if Margaret is very happy of the decision of course, she doesn't forget the other gay and lesbian couples:
"I just want the same benefits that are provided to other married couples in the department."
A county spokesman told the Sun that officials were evaluating the 10-page decision from the arbiter to determine whether they would appeal.