11:33am

Wed August 21, 2013
Lexington/Richmond

After Ten Years On The Table, Domestic Partner Benefits Again Before Lexington's Council

Lexington city leaders will again consider domestic partner benefits for the city’s workforce.  Benefits for same-sex partners and unmarried couples were last considered in 2003, when they were rejected by council.   Vice Mayor Linda Gorton made the motion Tuesday that resurrected the benefits.

Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton.
Lexington Vice Mayor Linda Gorton.
Credit Lexington Urban County Government

“It’s been ten years since it was brought up back then and I think it’s time, you know with a new Supreme Court ruling and times are different and I think that we at least need to look at it and study it and see if it’s something we need to offer our employees,” said Gorton.

Gorton’s unsure of the cost of the additional benefits.  Lexington Mayor Jim Gray added his support to the motion.

“Jobs are so important and it’s essential that we leverage every competitive advantage we have in our city and providing the right benefits to attract talent to our city is part of that,” added Gray.

Gorton, meanwhile, says city employees might still need to satisfy eligibility requirements, such as proving the partners have shared finances.

“Sharing of a bank account, sharing of a mortgage, six months or 12 months as domestic partners, there were lots of rules that would have had to have been proven by people who sign up domestic partner benefits,” said Gorton.

Gray, who's openly gay, and Gorton both argue many large universities and corporations offer domestic partner benefits.  Gorton believes there are at least six council members ready to approve an expansion of employee benefits.