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Philadelphia City Council Passes Bill Extending Rights Of Same-Sex Partners

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(Credit: Steve Tawa)

(Credit: Steve Tawa)

Mike Dunn Mike Dunn
Mike Dunn is City Hall bureau chief for KYW Newsradio 1060. He covers...
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By Mike Dunn

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia’s lesbian and gay community won an important victory in City Council this week and supporters say what was most notable was the lack of controversy about the measure.

“A majority of all members having voted in the affirmative, the bill passes.”

Members of the city’s LGBT community cheered as City Council gave unanimous approval to a measure that extends the rights of some same-sex partners in Philadelphia.

The sponsor, Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown, noted that the bill passed with little of the controversy that marked similar efforts in years past.

“It’s a clear signal that we’ve come a mighty long ways from those days in City Council where there were huge debates, arguments and just fights about giving same-sex partners equal rights.”

Under the new measure, contractors and subcontractors doing projects for the city — on projects costing more than a quarter million dollars — will be required to offer health coverage and other benefits to life partners of their employees. A huge battle erupted in City Council in 1998 over a bill that gave benefits to same sex partners of city workers. That measure eventually became law as well.

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