Sep 24, 2012 1:13 PM GMT
The majority of members belonging to three city of Toledo union locals declined to let employees in domestic partnerships receive the same health-insurance benefits extended to spouses of legally married city employees — something that Mayor Mike Bell and city council approved this year.
The Toledo Police Patrolman’s Association and two units of the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees Local 7, in three separate votes, rejected the benefit.
Don Czerniak, Local 7 president, said the employees overwhelmingly disagreed with extending the benefit to unmarried couples — which could have covered both heterosexual and same-sex couples who register as domestic partners.
“We had to bring [it] back to the members and they felt — some of them felt — it wasn’t right,” Mr. Czerniak said. “Even though the mayor and city council have their own personal feelings, each one of the members just didn’t think it was right under their moral ethics or whatever you want to call it.”
Mr. Czerniak said he did not opine on the benefit during the voting, which took place on Sept. 13, according to his letter to the Bell administration.
“The people who came and voted were very boisterous about it,” Mr. Czerniak said. “The feeling was if they are that worried about it — not as much the same sex [couples] — then let them get married and have them be on our health insurance.”