Ore. lesbians win legal battle over benefit change

PORTLAND — Two women have won a round in their legal battle over who gets their state retirement benefits after ending same-sex relationships.

Katharine English and Barbara Pinkerton had asked the Oregon Public Employees Retirement Board to change their retirement allowances and remove their former partners as designated beneficiaries.

But the board denied their request, saying that Oregon law did not allow same-sex marriage so the women were unable to divorce their partners when their relationships ended.

Without a divorce, the women could not remove their designated beneficiaries and increase their own retirement payments.

The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday ordered the board to reconsider their request.

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