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After lawsuit,
Bellevue explores domestic-partner benefits

After lawsuit,
Bellevue explores domestic-partner benefits

Bellevue, Wash., city officials, recently sued by a gay rights group, now say they are hoping to offer domestic-partner benefits.

Lambda Legal sued Bellevue last week, arguing that denying certain benefits to gay employees and their partners amounted to illegal discrimination. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of three emergency workers, two in the fire department and one in the police department.

"The time has come to take action and give clear direction," Bellevue mayor Grant Degginger said in a news release. "The city takes pride in treating its employees fairly and in providing competitive wages and benefits."

At a meeting Monday night, city council members directed staff to prepare information on how the city might offer domestic-partner benefits for employees across all bargaining units as well as nonunion workers. The staff was also asked to analyze how much such benefits would cost.

The draft plan is due in May. (AP)

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