By Advocate.com Editors
Originally published on Advocate.com June 05 2003 12:00 AM ET
The Lexington, Ky., city council voted to halt a change made by Mayor Teresa Isaac that would extend government employees' health benefits to same-sex partners. In the 11-4 vote on Tuesday, council members raised fiscal, procedural, and moral objections to the extension. They took the first step in placing a moratorium on domestic-partner benefits until October.
Under Isaac's plan, domestic partners who live together must affirm their relationship and sign three forms of interdependence, such as shared addresses, bank accounts, and motor vehicles. Isaac enacted the policy in early May.
Councilwoman Jennifer Mossotti said she is concerned about possible abuse, saying some of the criteria "were pretty easy to obtain." Other council members said extending coverage to a new group would raise insurance costs. Fred Brown, who disagreed with the extension "on a moral standpoint," said the council may seek public comment and outside legal advice.
Isaac shrugged off criticism for making the change without consulting the council. "We have passed what is called the fairness ordinance, which required you to treat all employees the same, and that's what this administrative policy does," she said.