Waymon Hudson

Orlando to offer benefits to same-sex couples

Filed By Waymon Hudson | October 04, 2008 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
Tags: Amendment 2, benefits, Mayor Buddy Dyer, Orlando

Mayor Buddy Dyer of Orlando announced plans to offer domestic-partner benefits to gay city employees when the City Council approves changes to its employee health-care policy. This will make Orlando the first government in Central Florida to do so, joining dozens of municipalities around the states that provide domestic-partner benefits to their employees.

The benefits will only be available to same-sex couples. Unmarried opposite sex couples will not get the benefits since, according to Dyer, "they have the option of marriage."

Dyer is expected to talk about the move to offer benefits, as well as the dangerous affect that Amendment 2 will have on them, at Orlando's Pride celebration. Dyer had been an outspoken opponent of Amendment 2.

Mary Meek, spokeswoman for Come Out With Pride, said:

I think it exhibits great personal and political courage by the mayor to take steps that benefit the families of Orlando employees and propel Orlando forward as a major and progressive player, knowing that it will be viewed by some as controversial.

Orlando made the decision to change its domestic-partnership policy for gay employees after reviewing similar policies of private companies in Central Florida- including Disney, Universal and the Orlando Sentinel.

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