Ohio's Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review approved amending part of the state's administrative code to allow non-union state employees to take bereavement or sick time for issues related to a live-in partner, despite reservations from its chairman, Republican state Sen. Tom Niehaus (NEE'-hows), who suggested the rule conflicted with Ohio's definition of marriage, which he said was a union between a man and woman, but that the committee had no legal reason to vote no.
USAToday reported that Gov. Ted Stricklands administration had "described the rule as a matter of fairness, saying it extends benefits to non-union employees that union workers already receive."
USAToday also indicated that a group that pushed for Ohio's 2004 constitutional amendment against gay marriages has indicated it may appeal the measure.
The Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review consists of five senators and five members of the House of Representatives, originally being created in 1977. (See ORC 101.35)
The rule in question, OAC 123:1-47-01, adds "or significant other ('significant other' as used in this definition means one who stands in place of a spouse and who resides with the employee)," to the State's definitions of employment terms of "immediate family."
The Committees "Rule Summary and Fiscal Analysis" has more information.