Domestic Partner Benefits for Allegheny County – here’s what the candidates think

This is just too good/bad for anything other than a direct quote.  The candidates for Chief Executive from both parties were meeting with the Executive Women's Council of Greater Pittsburgh yesterday.  Let's set aside whether they were addressing ladies, women or girls.  Actually, let's not.  What kind of campaigh staff doesn't review this with a candidate who must routinely use antiquated/offensive language or perhaps they simply don't know any women?  I don't know.  It boggles the mind.  I just hope the campaign managers caught it and begin a remedial course in “Women's Advancement in the 20th Century.” 

I am happy to report that no one came to the gay Democrats endorsement and called us “the gays.”  Of course, Chuck McCullough wasn't there.  He actually seems to believe gays don't exist as you will see …

From Early Returns

When asked if they support same-sex benefits for county employees, Fitzgerald unwaveringly said yes, Raja said he had to study it and Flaherty said he would follow whatever policy Dan Onorato puts in place.

“I don't believe in that concept whatsoever,” said McCullough.

<head on table>

Fitzgerald has his own opinion, a record of pro-LGBT action and the Stonewall endorsement. Great answer and glad to see he's going on the record to bring fairness to the County workforce.  I'd love to hear how he plans to roll this out, but he clearly shines on this issue. 

To be fair, that's not hard to do when you are dealing with the assorted buffoonery that follows.

Flaherty is letting Onorato take the lead on this? WTF does that even mean? In 20 years of public service, Onorato has cast two anti-gay votes out of two opportunities to vote.  His sole concession to the gay community was signing a piece of legislation two years ago.  We are told repeatedly that he lobbied for the Human Relations Commission, but his stubborn refusal to provide health insurance for his employees makes me wonder if he pulled a fast one on the gay community. It has been two years.  That is a lot of doctor's visits, trips to the ER, dental visits and other health situations that have arisen among the LGBT County employees. 

If the Emporer is  wearing new clothes, he did not have a gay fashion designer.  So why is Flaherty saying something so utterly just stupid?  It is clear Onorato is not going to cast a gay vote/take gay action (ha) before his next statewide run.  And if he is waiting until he's a lame duck … shame on him for playing politics with people's health.  I think that runs against his role of overseeing the Health Department.  But getting back to Flaherty … is he painting himself as a successor and, if so, why on this really small issue?  It is a position that hurts gay people — he sought our endorsement just two weeks ago — and it hurts the region's ability to attract business. 

Raja wants to study the issue.  I'm going to send him information.  Seriously.   He may be playing coy, but he suggests that he's open to learning more.  I don't expect a Republican to make this move because it would cost too much with the base, but still … the answer made sense.

And McCullough.  I mean, what do you say?  Let's revisit the quote.

I don't believe in that concept whatsoever,” said McCullough.

Does he not believe domestic partner benefits exist?  I'd be happy to show him my Highmark insurance card listing Ledcat at the insured and myself as the dependent.  Or the bills.  Or the additional takes we pay on this “income”

Or does he not believe domestic partners exist?  There's an official City registry!  We have recognition of our domestic partnership by a municipal government.  Plus, he's welcome to come to dinner (don't tell Ledcat I invited him – we'll pretend he dropped by) and see what a domestic partner household looks like. 

Does he think we should fund our own health insurance, one little old lady at a time?  Cause my domestic-partner-believin' church tells me that is wrong.

The answer lies in an earlier comment …

 He refused to commit to placing any percentage or number of women in leadership roles, instead saying he should be judged on other battles he's fought for UPMC Braddock, against reassessments and the drink tax, and would fight for women too. “I'm here to do God's work . . . I have your back,” he said.

I'm sure all the girls in the room felt incredibly reassured. 



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