In a lopsided vote, Nashville’s Metro Council last night approved domestic partner benefits for city employees.
The council voted 27-7 for the measure, adding Metro to a long list of public and private employers across the country that offer domestic partner benefits. The result was expected, but some council members spoke out strongly against the policy before the vote. Councilman Bill Pridemore said his and his constituents’ values would be “compromised” by the idea, and Councilman Phil Claiborne moved to defer the final vote indefinitely, citing budgetary concerns. But Councilman Lonnell Matthews moved to table Claiborne’s motion, and the council agreed. Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling said the financial impact of the policy would be small — $450,000 or so — within the $1.89 billion operating budget the council had passed moments earlier.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean called it a “big day” for the city, adding, “If we believe that each person has value and we treat each other with respect, then I think this city will be in fine shape. I’m proud of the effort, I’m proud of our city and I’m proud of you all.” (Tipped by JMG reader Jason)