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Cherry Creek Mortgage chairman resigns after lender begins offering benefits to same-sex couples

Wil Armstrong did not provide a reason for his abrupt resignation

The chairman of Cherry Creek Mortgage, the largest mortgage lender in Colorado, resigned late last week after the company began offering health benefits to same-sex couples.

Cherry Creek announced last week that it will now offer health benefits to same-sex couples after one of the company’s former employees and her wife sued the lender for choosing not to provide them with health insurance coverage.

Cherry Creek made that announcement late Thursday, the same day that the company’s chairman, Wil Armstrong, resigned from the company with immediate effect.

Cherry Creek announced Armstrong’s resignation late Friday by publishing a brief statement from Armstrong, which makes no direct mention of the same-sex benefits announcement and provides no reason for Armstrong’s abrupt departure.

“Effective yesterday, I resigned as chairman and a member of the board of directors at Cherry Creek Mortgage Company effective immediately,” Armstrong said in the statement published Friday evening.

“I am grateful for the chance to have been a part of the team that helped thousands in achieving the dream of homeownership and in assisting them in managing often the largest financial transaction of their lives,” Armstrong continued.

“My prayers will continue for Cherry Creek Mortgage’s management and employees, including their family members,” Armstrong concluded. “Cherry Creek Mortgage has assembled a great group of people, and I extend my best wishes to all for the years ahead.”

A Los Angeles Times article about the lawsuit that spurred the same-sex benefits announcement provides more background.

In the lawsuit, Judith Dominguez and her wife, Patricia Martinez, claim that Cherry Creek denied their health coverage because the company is “Christian-based” and believes its employees should not marry a person of the same sex.

In the wake of the lawsuit, the company said Thursday that it re-evaluated its policies and will now cover same-sex couples.

“Cherry Creek Mortgage Company has always, and will always support its employees and their families. Cherry Creek Mortgage believes it was at all times acting within its legal and business rights,” the company said last week in its statement.

“Cherry Creek Mortgage has taken this as an opportunity to reevaluate and change its health care policy,” the company continued. “Going forward, it will cover same sex spouses in its health plan effective immediately. The company believes it is consistent with its values, and in the best interest of its employees and community.”

The statement from Friday does not provide any details on Armstrong’s replacement.

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