City Council could vote on same sex partner benefits

(WEAU) - "It would be nice to have the same options as any straight couple," said Detective Clayton Wanta.

Detective Clayton Wanta has been with his partner for three years now and wants his partner to receive health insurance benefits because he believes its about fairness.

"I think it'll be a good thing, there's going to be employees that will be affected long after I'm gone from this department," said Wanta.

Wanta says he approached City Council members Andrew Werthmann and Mark Olson with the proposal.

Mark Olson says he has a reason on why he only chose same sex couples to receive the benefits.

"I feel that same sex don't have opportunity to get married, the state of Wisconsin doesn't recognize marriage between same sex partners,” said City Council member Mark Olson.

City Council Vice President Dave Duax says it would cost the city about an additional $8,700 dollars for each partner covered on the health plan and the employee then would pay a small percentage of that.

But Wanta says the issue isn't about cost.

“Cost is all relative because there's a new employee getting hired that may or may not be eligible for a family plan depending on their marital status,” said Wanta.

Council members Kerry Kincaid, Thomas Vue and David Klinkhammer say they'll have to look at more information before making a decision.

But City Council members could vote before May because of open enrollment.

"If we want to this, this is the time to take this action up so that we can get it in place, so when the open enrollment comes up we can apply for it," said Olson.

“I'm glad it was brought up because I think its something we've thought about but never talked about,” said City Council member David Duax.

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  • by memo on Apr 24, 2012 at 05:04 AM
    I dont think they should allow it, there's no legal gay marriage in WI, even if they go to a different state, its still not recognized here and um ITS DISGUSTING
  • by Bryan Location: Eau Claire on Apr 21, 2012 at 12:08 PM
    I think it's a right all should be shared and be entitled to recieve. I'm thankful the State of Wisconsin and Governor Walkers supported this effort and allowed State employee of same sex and domestic partners to be covered.
  • by Popeye Location: Eleva on Apr 21, 2012 at 06:38 AM
    Another great exmple of public employees who can't find enough ways to spend taxpayer dollars.
  • by P Location: Eau Claire on Apr 20, 2012 at 07:25 PM
    And why only same sex couples, wisconsin long ago made cohabitation legal. If someone lives with someone they should be allowed the same benefits too. This is a wonderful way to get your health care benefits paid that so many people cannot get. Just find someone who works for the city and move in, you will be covered.
  • by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2012 at 06:10 PM
    But they do have the same opportunities. Find an opposite sex partner and get married. Marriage is between one man and one woman. Anything else is not marriage.
  • by E on Apr 20, 2012 at 05:42 PM
    Some people are gay. Get Over it.
  • by Sally on Apr 20, 2012 at 04:43 PM
    I have no problems with gays, what I do have problems with is government workers getting ever increasing benefits that the rest of us don't. Also, they know this will divert the publics attention from important issues they don't want to have to deal with.
  • by John Location: EC on Apr 20, 2012 at 04:33 PM
    And to think that mean old Gov Walker is making the employee pay his fair share. So now we can extend benefits to gay and lesbian workers partners. Wow....where has this country gone?
  • by Anonymous on Apr 20, 2012 at 04:22 PM
    I have a suggestion...Move to a bluer state. The people have already decided this issue here and the answer was no.
  • by public educated Location: eau claire on Apr 20, 2012 at 04:11 PM
    Wanta says it isn't about cost. Good then he shouldn't have a problem if the city doesn't expand this benefit.
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