SAME-SEX BENEFITS REQUIRED BY SAN FRANCISCO
Derived From: The Union-Tribune (San Diego CA), Article by Mark Evans, 1996-DEC-28, P. A-3
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
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
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