PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Philadelphia City Council, at the urging of the mayor, is moving to close a small bureaucratic loophole involving same-sex partners of city government workers.

Life partners of city workers have, for more than a decade, been eligible for certain benefits like health insurance.  But Councilman Bill Green says those relationships have never been subject to the same ethics regulations as married couples.

“The ethics rules didn’t apply to life partners the way they would to a spouse or a family member,” he notes.

(Councilman Bill Green. Source: City of Phila. TV)

Green (right) has now introduced a bill authored by the Nutter administration to close that loophole — changing the City Code so that same-sex couples in which one partner is a city employee must follow all ethics rules.

“The conflict-of-interest rules would apply,” Green says.  “You can’t lobby on behalf of a family member.”

On the flip side, the exemption in which a city worker can give a gift to his or her spouse will now be extended to life partners.

Reported by KYW City Hall bureau chief Mike Dunn