Same-Sex Couples Seek Benefits For Domestic Partners

City-County Council Proposal Picks Up Steam

A proposal to offer benefits to domestic partners in Indianapolis is picking up steam ahead of Monday night's City-County Council meeting.

Supporters said the proposal has bipartisan support, RTV6’s Ebone Monet reported.

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Marion County Election Board administrator Will French said he is in favor of the proposal to give city workers domestic partners benefits.

"The message that it sends -- that all families, even non-traditional families are valued -- is incredibly important," French said.

Sponsors are set to present the proposal at Monday night's council meeting. If passed, it will give domestic partners health care benefits, if their own job doesn't offer them.

"I think it would make me feel more valued as an employee, and I think it would make me feel as valued as other employees. I know I'm valuable, but it's nice to hear it from somewhere else," French said.

Nearby cities, including Columbus, Cleveland and Chicago, already have similar ordinances, and Indy supporters estimate the proposal would cost Marion County $200,000, or less than one-half percent of what the county spends on health insurance, according to City-County Councilman Zach Adamson, a co-sponsor of the proposal.

"It's minuscule, as far as cost goes, but the impact that it has on our standing as a first-class city and remaining competitive as an employer are much greater than the expense," Adamson said.

Taxpayer Hersh Gilbert said he thought the proposal seemed fair.

"That really seems like a small amount to offer a very important piece of legislation that would increase fairness," Gilbert said.

French said he looks forward to what an ordinance could mean to his family and the message it would send to his two sons.

"Obviously, there is nothing more precious to us than our children and to have acknowledgment at that level that they matter too, is of paramount importance," French said.

Advocates of the proposal said they're optimistic that it will have Mayor Greg Ballard's support.

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