BOSTON — Acting Gov. Jane Swift, who was criticized by her gay stepson for opposing gay marriage, says that she is extending some domestic partnership benefits to gay and lesbian state workers.
She also denied Thursday that her action came in response to the criticism by her stepson, Brian Hunt, that was published Wednesday in the Boston Globe.
Swift said her administration had already extended benefits for same-sex couples to state social workers, and other workers would get the benefits when their contracts are negotiated over the next two years.
"She wants to get the votes of the gay community, but when it comes down to it, she doesn't want to lose other votes over it," Hunt said. "It's hypocritical to me."
Swift said her support for domestic partnership benefits is "a position that I think had been well established and a position that I'm comfortable with." But she reiterated her opposition to gay marriage.
Domestic partner benefits for the state's 70,000 employees include leave to care for an ill partner, bereavement leave if a partner dies and paid time off for court appearances or counseling for victims of domestic violence.
The benefits do not include health insurance, which would require an appropriation from the state Legislature.
Swift, a Republican, became acting governor in April when Paul Cellucci was named U.S. ambassador to Canada.
Hunt also said his father, Charles Hunt III, had three earlier marriages before he wed Swift in 1994. The application for their marriage certificate refers to just one previous marriage.
Swift and her husband intend to amend the certificate and pay a $100 fine each for lying, said her spokesman, Jason Kauppi.