PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Companies that get big contracts with the city of Philadelphia could soon have to offer health benefits to same-sex partners of their workers. 

The idea is contained in a measure being proposed in City Council today by council member Blondell Reynolds Brown (in photo below). She says the bill would require contractors with the city to extend health benefits to same-sex partners of employees.

reynolds brown blondell8 Councilwoman Proposes Same Sex Benefits Bill“The intent of the bill is to give employment benefits to life partners, just as we already do for spouses of married couples.”

The measure would apply to companies that have contracts with the city valued at a quarter million dollars or more.

Reynolds Brown says she modeled this plan on what’s already being done in other cities.

“This city is certainly moving to catch up with other cities that are already doing this,” she said. “So I do not anticipate a big fight, and quite frankly, anticipate a lot of support.”

The number of employees likely to be eligible is quite small, Reynolds Brown says, making the economic impact to the companies minimal.

Same-sex partners of city workers are already eligible for health benefits, under an executive order signed by then-Mayor Ed Rendell in 1996.

Reported by Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio

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