Wednesday, June 06, 2007


A friend pointed out the me that yesterday's acknowledgment of the city of Bellevue offering benefits for domestic partnerships (same or opposite sex) was not without a caveat. The devil is in the details and the people who originally brought suit, aided by Lambda, are not dropping their legal action until the details are revealed. Among the concerns: earlier staff report to council that recommended the domestic partners of city workers who die in the line of action, such as police or firefighters, not be eligible for insurance payouts.
Fair enough and it's a good thing that Lambda is on the watch. Bellevue should offer the exact benefits to all city workers in domestic partnerships, regardless of marital status.

What really caught my eye in the original story was the cost estimate for providing these benefits: between $166,000 and $414,000 per year. I just looked up the city of Bellevue's biennial budget for 2007 - 2008. Their total budget cost for that period is $965.7 million. The costs to cover domestic partnerships in the city is a drop in the bucket compared to the good will, morale increase, PR, and ability to recruit future candidates that it will engender. Shame on Bellevue for not providing these benefits earlier and recognizing the positive values that doing so will provide the community. Praise to Bellevue for moving to fix this inequity, but damn it, folks - do it right! You've got a second chance. Don't screw up the progress you've made thus far!

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