Publix Supermarkets announced Wednesday that it would begin offering group health and other insurance to spouses of gay workers.

“Publix is expanding spouse coverage effective Jan. 1, 2015,” a spokesperson told First Coast News, “to associates who are married in any state where same-sex marriages are legal, regardless of the associates' state of residence.”

“Regardless of how long ago they were legally married, associates who are affected by this change can elect to enroll their legal same-sex spouses during a special enrollment period Jan. 1 – 30, 2015,” the spokesperson added.

Publix owns 1,095 stores in 6 Southern states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee. Three of those states, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee, do not allow gay couples to marry.

A federal judge's ruling declaring Florida's 2008 voter-approved constitutional amendment limiting marriage to heterosexual unions unconstitutional takes effect Tuesday. The ruling, if upheld on appeal, would also affect Alabama and Georgia.

“It's good business for us to offer benefits to all employees, not just those in the states that recognize it,” Maria Brouse, director of media relations at Publix, told Money.

The supermarket chain has 180,000 employees and offers benefits to full and part-time employees who work at least 1,500 hours a year.