Local News Noise & Notes Politics

Fischer Extends Domestic Partner Benefits to Metro Employees

Joined by members of the Louisville Metro Council and gay rights advocates, Mayor Greg Fischer signed an executive order Friday extending domestic partner benefits to Metro Government employees  that will go into effect July 1, 2012.

The policy decision to offer health insurance benefits to couples living together in a household but who are not legally married follows many Fortune 500 company policies. In 2006, the University of Louisville instituted a similar program, as have other local companies such as  Humana and Brown-Forman.

Fischer says if the city wants to attract the best and brightest talent to live in Louisville, it must offer domestic partner benefits that are competitive with the private sector.

“We know that Louisville is a growing and vibrant international city and for nay 21st Century city to succeed it must value all people, be a welcoming city and certainly embrace diversity,” he says.

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Gay Marriage Amendment Proposal Advances In Indiana

A proposal to amend the Indiana Constitution to ban gay marriage and civil unions is on its way to the state Senate.

The Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee approved the measure Wednesday by a 7-3 vote along party lines.

GOP lawmakers rejected Democrats’ argument that banning civil unions could threatened the ability of employers to offer domestic partner benefits.

Indiana already has a law on the books that bans gay marriage, but amendment supporters want the constitutional change to protect it from being overturned by what they call ‘activist judges.’

The proposal has already been approved by the GOP-led House.

If it wins full passage this year, the measure would still have to be approved by the next legislature and then by Indiana voters in order for the state Constitution to be amended.

(Information for this story also came from the Associated Press)