Resistry Approved; Other Stuff

City Council approved plans to create a domestic partner registry 7-1.  Now we await the Mayor's signature.  Here's the full PG story.

On a personal note, Ledcat and I are one of five same-sex couples receiving domestic partner benefits through the City.  Five.  That underwhelms me.  Five.  Seriously?  That would seem to warrant a second look.  Surely there are more than five gay employees in the City.  The City has really good benefits so it is hard for me to imagine that there are only five couples that could benefit from the benefits.  I would love to hear from a City employee who is eligible but not taking advantage of these benefits. 

I've also been assured by City Council President Doug Shields that our current status as domestic partners will transfer into the new registry and not require another round of paperwork.  No response yet on how or if the City will educate potential registrants on how to navigate the multiple systems necessary to fulfill the requirements or work with families who are unable to meet those requirements because, well, they aren't middle class families with financial stability.  Rather, that they are people who desperately could use domestic partner benefits.  Who helps them?

Maybe the City will contract with me to write the handbook.  Sort of two for one, lesbian/social worker combo.  I could totally do it.  Someone pass that idea along.

Is it possible that the five same sex family figure has something to do with the process?  Possibly. 

On the other hand, it does blow a huge hole in Danny O's claim that domestic partner benefits on the County level would destroy his budget.  It probably costs more to kill some geese than it does to take a homo to the doctor.  Seriously.

I was sort of taken aback when I read that the legislation has been amended to make domestic partner registries public information.  Marriages are public.  Then I had a “wow” moment as I realized that us five couples are like the San Francisco couples who were married several years ago.  The system has finally caught up with the times.  It would be really cool if the City would allow those five of us currently registered LGBT families to be the first LGBT families in the new registry.  Especially in order of registration.  I think there are about 20 heterosexual couples registered.  I'm just saying …it would be cool.  Transfer the trailblazers first.  We could have a little ceremony.  Bram would cover it.  Right, Bram?

I know some gay folks worked to pass the legislation and they surely deserve their moment in the sun.  But I had no clue that as 1 of 5 families, our relationship was etched so starkly in contrast to the typical City employee.  It really does make me wonder about the other gay City employees. What's going on for them? 

Is it a problem that I can't just allow myself to enjoy this moment without worrying about LGBT families (and straight ones, too) that might be missing out because they don't have the same privileges of socioeconomic status, education, race and so forth that we enjoy?  My therapist — who is part of a political family — would tell me that I should speak up for those folk because who else is paying attention. 

So let's find a way to put together a handbook to enroll in the registry and figure out why only five gay families are currently enrolled for City benefits.   Bram might cover that, too.

Actually, has anyone taken a look at domestic partner registries across the City?  Is that a project for the Women & Girls Foundation — a study on how people do or do not access these benefits? 

On a final note, the comic strip “Its About Lila” or whatever its called is no longer running in the Post-Gazette.  So all that furor for naught!  I won't know what happened with Drew's two-timing man-skank.  Drat.

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  • Trailblazers? Seriously? Trailblazers?
    Please explain.
    Ok you are one of five couples, ( which I do not believe but for the sake of your “editorial” lets just say)
    who have been enrolled in domestic partner benefits.
    Did you start the domestic partnership benefits?
    Did you go through all of the reseach and hard work it takes to get something like that passed? Or did you go through the steps everyone else did to prove your relationship?
    Trailblazers? No!

  • Ummm … first of all, good research would have unearthed the fact that there are five same sex partners registered with the City. The Post Gazette found it.
    The city now provides benefits to common law spouses of 55 employees, and domestic partners of another five, according to Personnel Director Barbara Trant, whose department would administer the registry.
    I'm jesting about being a trailblazer, but it is a little startling to realize that you are one of five anything given how many employees the City must have. “Common law spouses” don't exist for couples after 2006 (I believe) thanks to out state legislature, so apparently there are very few new employees taking advantage of this resource. Doesn't that concern you? I mean, given your snark, you obviously have some connection with the team that brought this legislation to light so I'd assume you want people to take advantage of it. What's happening? Shouldn't we be more worried about those folks and less worried about photo ops?
    Finally, back to your research. Clearly, you don't understand that process or the reality of many families who aren't middle and upper middle class financially stable couples or you wouldn't throw out the cutting remark about following the same steps. My point is that WE DID GO THROUGH THOSE STEPS and they aren't easy to navigate and aren't going to help families who most need these benefits withouth more aggressive action on the part of the City.
    If you aren't mindful of the most vulnerable among our community, what does that say?

  • Hey, sorry I left you hanging. My laptop was in the shop until just now. Yeah, I'll cover anything, especially if a party is involved and there is cake and champagne. Hint hint.

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