Allentown OKs Domestic-Partner Benefits

Allentown OKs Domestic-Partner Benefits

The city council of Allentown, Pa., voted Wednesday to extend medical benefits to the same-sex partners of city employees, not including firefighters and police officers.

According to  The Morning Call, the measure will provide health benefits to eligible same-sex partners of some city employees, active and retired. Employees will also be able to take time off work when their partner is hospitalized or dies.

The police and firefighters' unions have yet to agree to the changes, but according to the Call, city officials are optimistic that the unions will agree.

The city council delayed a vote on extending pension benefits to same-sex partners of city employees because of legal questions about whether state law prevents it.

Allentown is the third-largest city in Pennsylvania and has nearly 1,000 municipal employees, according to the Pennsylvania Diversity Network, which advocated for the change for more than 15 years. Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh also offer same-sex partner benefits.

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