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SAME-SEX BENEFITS REQUIRED BY SAN FRANCISCO

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Sponsored link.


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Derived From: The Union-Tribune (San Diego CA), Article by Mark Evans, 1996-DEC-28, P. A-3

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The municipal government of San Francisco does business with about 10,000 American companies, who supply everything from banking services to office supplies. All will be required to make their health insurance and other employee benefits available to all of their employees, homosexuals and heterosexuals, whether they be single, a registered domestic partner, or a married person. Otherwise, they cannot do business with the city. The policy received unanimous support from the entire Board of Supervisors and from Mayor Willie Brown. It is expected to become effective in mid-1997.

The policy is controversial. Some complain that the policy is poorly planned and expensive and is being implemented without adequate public notice. Others support it as a basic anti-discrimination measure. Joe Leslie, a 52-year-old assistant vice-president at Bank of America said "It would be important to me even if I didn't have a partner, simply as a moral matter." He feels that he and his partner Michael are "as loving as any married couple that ever walked this Earth," and feels that it is unfair for the spouses of fellow workers to receive additional benefits. "We do the same work, our spousal status is virtually the same. [Yet] they get benefits I don't get."

The scope of the policy is unclear. For example, there are hundreds of airlines that do business with the city by paying a gate tax at the International Airport; they may or may not be included.

Some have complained that the ordinance requires that benefits be given only to registered domestic partners. Many cities do not have such a registry yet.

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