Toledo, Ohio —
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell has announced he will introduce legislation extending benefits to the partners of gay city workers.
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 Toledo Blade reported.
"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 employees.
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 on Tuesday.
Article provided in partnership with On Top Magazine