FedEx to offer benefits to same-sex couples

As posted by Lauren Johnson on

"Memphis-based FedEx is gaining ground with the gay and lesbian community. Tuesday, the shipping giant announced changes with health benefits that are more inclusive of same-sex couples. And one group says the inclusive move could lure more people to our city.

"The changes won't take effect for a couple years. But, the changes we see in the city could start taking shape sooner than that. More companies could follow suit, and more people might decide to make Memphis home.

"Shipping giant FedEx has decided to offer health insurance to same sex domestic partners, after employees made the request.

"'It's a huge deal. I know a lot of people that work for FedEx, a lot of people that are part of our community that this will directly benefit, directly impact.'  Will Batts is not a FedEx employee himself, but the conversation and issue hits close to home. Batts is the Executive Director of the Memphis Gay and Lesbian Community Center. He's also living in a domestic partnership, and recently received benefits this year when his partner's company made a similar move.

"'For me, I obviously had to have my own insurance, and so it was really expensive. I didn't use it a whole lot but it was expensive for me and so now being able to be on my partner's insurance, it definitely helps our family.'

"'Cost-savings is important of course, but more important is equality and fairness,' Batts said. 'It's never too late to do the right thing, and we obviously think its the right thing to allow families to protect themselves in the same way married couples do.'"

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