Bellevue OKs benefits for domestic partners

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June 5, 2007


"After a lawsuit and years of lobbying by gay-rights advocates, the Bellevue City Council Monday night approved employment benefits for partners of gay city employees. The unanimous vote means that domestic partners — straight and gay — will receive the same benefits the city now provides to married partners. These benefits include medical, dental, vision, life insurance, mental-health counseling and family leave.

"'It's definitely an exciting night and a giant leap forward for the city of Bellevue," said George Einsetler, a Bellevue 911 dispatcher who has been with his partner for three years.'

"Lambda Legal, a national gay-rights group, sued the city in April on behalf of Einsetler and two other gay city employees who said they were unable to get time off to attend family funerals or pay for health care for their partners."