[Domestic Partnerships] The Salt Lake County Council moments ago beat down a move to provide health insurance and other benefits for county employees in committed domestic partnerships.
The vote was 5-4, and strictly along party lines, on a substitute motion that pulled all teeth from Democratic Council Member Jenny Wilson's* original proposal. Republican Council Member Mark Crockett, who faces re-election in November, presented the new motion, which sets up a study to determine the cost of insuring other members of a household not traditionally covered under employee insurance plans, such as aging parents and adult disabled children.
Crockett added that if the study determines feasibility for additional benefit designees, the employee would have to pay the entire premium for the additional family member.
As Democrat Joe Hatch pointed out, that is no kind of a benefit to anyone outside the traditional circle of the insured. Because it places a huge burden on the employee to pay. And if it's out of reach economically for most workers, what kind of fool (my word, not Hatch's) would consider that a benefit?
Well, as you might guess, most of the discussion wallowed around in the "traditional family values" hemisphere. Republican Council Members Jeff Allen and David Wilde said they want to do all that they can to preserve, protect and encourage society to uphold the traditional family.
Wilson, sponsor of the original proposal hasn't wavered in her 2-year-long fight to just cut to the quick: whether you support health care benefits for domestic partners just like everyone else. Her Democratic colleagues, Randy Horiuchi, Jim Bradley and Hatch, all said they do, and clearly.
The rest of them spoke through mouthfuls of mush.
The question is whether the matter will be back.
*Full disclosure: Jenny Wilson is my stepdaughter. (Holly Mullen)