Philadelphia officials will fight to keep a city ordinance recognizing same-sex "life partners" and will try to continue to grant them benefits in the meantime, Mayor John Street announced Tuesday. The mayor's announcement follows a state appeals court decision last week that struck down the partnerships, saying the city had usurped the state's power to regulate marriage.
"I also directed city solicitor [Nelson A.] Diaz to seek a stay of the opinion in order to allow life partners to continue to receive benefits during the course of this appeal," Street said in a statement. Since passage of the ordinance, 295 couples have registered as life partners with the city's human relations commission, making them eligible to seek benefits from the city and some private employers, executive director Lazar Kleit said Tuesday.