Mayor signs Domestic Partner Benefits into law

Mayor Karl Dean signs a bill June 25, 2014 in Nashville, Tenn.

Front row, left to right: Ivanetta Davis (Study and Formulating Committee); Councilmember Anthony Davis; Councilmember Lonnell Matthews (co-sponsor); Councilmember Jason Holleman; Councilmember Peter Westerholm (co-sponsor); Councilmember-at-Large Ronnie Steine; Mayor Karl Dean; Councilmember-at-Large Megan Barry (co-sponsor); Councilmember Brady Banks (co-sponsor); Councilmember Edith Langster; Councilmember Scott Davis; and Councilmember Burkley Allen Back row, left to right: Lynette Schnick (paramedic, Nashville Fire); Michael McDaniel (Bob Benson’s partner); Bob Benson (Metro Parks); John Johnson III (paramedic, Nashville Fire); Curtis Schwagel (John Johnson’s partner); and Chris Sanders (Tennessee Equality Project) (Photo courtesy of Metro Photographic Services).

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean today signed the Metro ordinance implementing domestic partner benefits for Metro employees. Joining him were members of the Metro Council and the Employee Benefits Study and Formulating Committee, along with Metro employees and their partners.

The Metro Council approved the measure on third and final reading on June 17. Mayor Dean issued this statement after the bill signing: “This is a great moment for equity and inclusion in Nashville. We have reaffirmed that our city respects individual dignity and is truly inclusive. Extending partner benefits is not just the right thing to do for Nashville and for our employees, it is simply a smart way to do business. By offering partner benefits, Metro will be better able to attract and retain talented employees and will be better able to compete with the many large private employers in the city who already offer these kinds of benefits. This also helps put us on equal footing with our peer cities nationwide. I thank members of the Metro Council and the Study and Formulating Committee for their leadership on partner benefits, and I congratulate all the advocates who championed this cause.”