General Motors will extend health benefits for employees in same-sex marriages, becoming the second major automaker to do so in spite of the ban on marriage equality in Michigan, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Under the new policy, GM employees who provide a license from a state recognizing same-sex marriages will be able to purchase health insurance for their spouses. The company was already allowing benefits for employees' partners if they confirmed that they lived together and shared finances. Michigan, where the "Big Three" U.S. automakers are headquartered, banned marriage equality in 2004.

"This decision is in line with GM's efforts to find, keep and grow the world's best talent and to offer our employees policies and benefits that are competitive with many of the largest and best-managed industrial companies in the U.S.," the Free Press quoted GM diversity officer Ken Barrett as saying.

The move will also help employees and their spouses avoid a tax penalty of up to 1,000, and follows a similar policy by Chrysler. Both policy shifts were enabled by the Supreme Court's June 2013 ruling striking down the Defense of Marriage Act.

[Image: "Smiling Same Sex Couple At Civil Union" via Shutterstock]