The Sacramento County board of supervisors reversed itself this week and voted to offer domestic-partner benefits to the county's 14,000 employees, according to the Los Angeles Times. The 3-2 decision Tuesday came when supervisor Muriel Johnson announced a change of heart after hearing stories of county employees who faced hardships because their partners did not have insurance. Previously a majority of supervisors had opposed the move, citing potential increased costs and opposition to the recognition of same-sex unions.
"Personally, I think it's long overdue," said supervisor Roger Dickinson. "It's not only the appropriate and humane thing to do, but it's also a good business decision for the county."
Gay rights advocates have hailed the move. "We commend Sacramento for recognizing the need to provide equal benefits," said Ilona Turner of the California Alliance for Pride and Equality, a gay lobbying group. "This is a big arena in which same-sex couples are denied the benefits and rights that married couples take for granted."
When the new policy goes into effect next year, Sacramento County will join 14 other California counties and 19 cities in the state that offer domestic-partner benefits.