Same Sex Health Benefits
"It's a step that will not only help same sex couples, but also help non-nuclear families," said Linda Hayes, who lives in Columbia.
"If you have a same sex couple, they're paying double insurance, whereas a heterosexual family pays for both," said Clayton Hayes.
The chairman of the City Benefits Committee, Jim Windsor, says employees have asked for this step.
"The purpose of a benefit package is to encourage longtime quality employees, and this is an issue of fairness really for employees that may not have the traditional family," said Windsor.
Windsor also says this change in health benefits would not cost the city more money.
Employees must meet numerous requirements before receiving health benefits for a partner. The partners must live together for a minimum of six months. They must be at least 18 years old, and they are required to sign an affidavit saying they are, in fact, a couple.
Monday's reading of the proposal only drew a few people to speak about the issue, but the council will have a second reading of the bill on Dec. 18.