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Congratulations Kissimmee

Timothy Kincaid

March 10th, 2010

kissimmeeLast night the City Commission in Kissimmee, FL, became the latest US municipality to recognize domestic partnerships. (Watermark)

In a 4-1 vote, the Kissimmee City Commission approved health and dental benefits for domestic partners of city employees, whether they’re the same sex or opposite sex.

This adds another 60,894 people (2007 estimate) to the total 27,269,114 estimated Americans who live in a community which – though in an unfriendly state – has offered some measure of recognition to same-sex relationships.

The new rules let employees purchase the benefits for their partners.

“It will also give domestic partners the same benefits as spouses as it relates to sick leave and one of the other items is that we have a policy that [city employees] cannot supervise [their] spouse and this will apply to domestic partners as well,” says Grieb.

Employees can also take advantage of sick leave if the children of their domestic partners become ill.

The measure cannot provide full compensation equality because of federal and state law. The State of Florida will not allow the children of partners to be covered by insurance unless they are formally adopted – which the state also bans (so much for “protecting the children”). And due to the Federal Government considering coverage of non-heterosexual spouses to be taxable income, Kissimmee will not offer the $10 per paycheck spousal coverage stipend they offer married employees.

There was a protest in late February led by a local pastor, but it did not appear to be well attended. (oscnewsgazette)

kissimmee protest

Initially, [Iglesia Christiana Renuevo assistant pastor Modesto] Vega’s group was against any domestic partner benefits, as he stated in his request for a permit to hold the protest, dated Feb. 9. However, the signs protesters held Tuesday stated that the group was only against such benefits to a same-sex partner.

The dozen and a half or so protesters, who were organized by an association of 35 to 40 local pastors, said they were motivated by religious beliefs. Vega told Grieb that domestic partnership benefits could be the beginning of tolerance that could lead to Florida allowing gay marriage.

No one spoke against the proposal at the meeting, and more than 300 business owners in Kissimmee had signed a petition to back the decision.

Comments

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Tony P
March 10th, 2010 | LINK

I hope Anita Bryant has a nice diurnal anomaly! I’m reminded of an old Dana Dane track and the line “There was Anita the beast staring down at me…”

Burr
March 10th, 2010 | LINK

That they changed their protest to only be against same-sex partners once again proves it’s about hatred of gays rather than fears about marriage.

Robert Hammond
March 10th, 2010 | LINK

So the protest was organized by 40 pastor of local churches and only 18 people showed!?! That means half of the pastors themselves found something better to do.
In Florida.
pinch me but I think we’re winning!

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