Lexington council to consider offering domestic-partner benefits to city employees

kward1@herald-leader.comAugust 20, 2013 

The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council is poised to consider offering domestic-partner benefits to city employees.

Vice Mayor Linda Gorton made a motion at Tuesday's council work session to refer the issue to a council committee, and the council voted unanimously to do so.

"This is the right thing to do, as our best companies including Toyota, LexMark, the University of Kentucky and dozens of others also believe," Mayor Jim Gray said at the meeting. "I'm glad the council is examining it. Jobs are so important, and it is essential that we leverage every competitive advantage."

The city has about 3,000 employees. It is unclear how many might be affected or how much such a measure might cost.

In February, Berea became the third city in Kentucky to extend domestic-partner benefits to city employees, joining Louisville and Covington.

Berea Mayor Steve Connelly issued an executive order Feb. 14 to include lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender city employees in the city's nondiscrimination policy, barring discrimination in hiring, firing and benefits based on an employee's sexual orientation.

Lexington adopted a fairness ordinance in July 1999 that bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in housing, employment and public accommodations.

Karla Ward: (859) 231-3314. Twitter: @HLpublicsafety

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