Toledo Mayor Mike Bell has announced he
will introduce legislation extending benefits to the partners of gay
The proposed legislation would extend
benefits to the partners of city employees – gay or straight –
who have registered with Toledo's domestic partner registry, the
“What we're trying to do is bring our
city, from the standpoint of human resources and affirmative-action
policies, in line with what's happening nationally,” Bell said.
“We're not the first train pulling out of the station here, we're
actually in a way trying to catch up with the policies that make
companies and cities competitive in the state of Ohio.”
The city opened its domestic partner
registry in 2007.
Ohio cities Cleveland and Columbus have
similar registries and offer benefits to the domestic partners of
Several council members expressed
concern over the issue.
“Cost is always a factor when you're
dealing with a budget,” said Councilman George Sarantou. “I want
to get the answers. I'm elected by all the citizens of Toledo, and I
need to find out all the information I can about any issue. Then I
can make an informed decision.”
Councilman Rob Ludeman, who voted
against the domestic partner registry, expressed moral concerns.
“A lot of it was my own religious
beliefs, but I think I represent a conservative constituency who were
opposed to it, gay and straight people,” he said. “It has
nothing to do with liking people or not liking people. It has to do
with what is government's role.”
Bell, who has previously not expressed
support for marriage equality, is expected to introduced his proposal