As reported by the PG web-edition, City Council gave a thumbs up on the first vote for the domestic partner registry. The lone naysayer was the Reverend Ricky Burgess. Final vote will be next week. No word on how the Mayor feels about all this registry stuff, but it appears veto proof at this stage of the game.
Sigh. I am only speculating here, but my guess is that Reverend Burgess is sticking with the right wing rhetoric that even second class relationship civil rights are too much for Pittsburgh's homosexuals. This new system is just a scooch along the path toward anything resembling civil unions in Pennsylvania. Barely a scooch. Way more important to this lesbian is the probability that this registry will help our family keep our domestic partner benefits if Ledcat's job is merged into the County. Which is unlikely given her job, but it is good to be prepared. Like Boy Scouts. Only with labia.
I emailed Councilmen Shields and Kraus (no “e”) asking for their thoughts on how the registry requirements might impact low income families, suggesting that the City compile a guide on how to meet the registry requirements. The most vulnerable families are those least likely to afford things like attorney fees for wills and those most likely to have financial and credit blemishes impacting their economic stability. Thus, they are most in need of the registry benefits (if any are available to them).
And, to be honest, some of the requirements are a bit arduous. I went through the process of adding my name to the household utility bills and it was a pain. Lots of red tape and questions and three way phone calls. It would be great if the City could put together a simple how to list to make things easier. I would hate to see this great new resource benefit only those of us who have the luxury of joint credit cards and power of attorney documents. That would be a great shame.
You know … that would be a great project for the Mayor's new LGBT Advisory Board with input from his LGBT Liaison. Oh, except for the little detail that he hasn't appointed any of those people. Darn.
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