The Indianapolis City-County Council passed a proposal to offer domestic partner benefits to employees who aren't married. The measure passed 20-8 with overwhelming bipartisan support.
I reported last week that Tea Party mayor Greg Ballard has indicated that he's waffling over whether or not to support the measure. Ballard is known for bucking the Republican Party's anti-gay stance - even going so far as to testify against a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions in Indiana.
Instead of your usual anti-gay stance, Ballard is using the measure as a tool to win concessions from Democrats over taxes. His cover story is that he's afraid it will encourage straight couples to shack up and skip getting married altogether. "In my mind, those who get in trouble with the law usually come from families that are not together," he told the Indy Star. "That's just the thing with me."
Ballard, who met Monday with organizations opposed to the ordinance, said he has been wavering on whether he would veto the measure. He said he isn't concerned about moral implications of offering benefits to gay city employees. He would prefer that Indianapolis offer benefits only to same-sex domestic partners because he sees offering them to opposite-sex partners as a "disincentive to marry."
While the council's 20 votes in support would be enough to override a mayoral veto, Minority Leader Michael McQuillen said it's doubtful Republicans who supported the ordinance would do so. He thinks the measure's bipartisan support, though, makes the odds of a veto less than 50 percent.
The Indiana Family Institute has jumped into the fray e-mailing some real whoppers to their sheeple. Their last missive made me giggle like mad. In one paragraph they claim the benefits won't cost $200k/year like the city claims; instead the measure will cost "as much as $1 million per year or more annually." In the next paragraph they insist that it will only benefit "a handful of homosexual City of Indianapolis employees."
Unsurprisingly, the group doesn't worry about straight couples like the Mayor claims he does. They focus all of their vitriol for gays and lesbian couples.
(Domestic partner benefits graphic via Bigstock)