Your Views: Rock County should support benefits for domestic partners

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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

This Thursday, Rock County will vote on extending benefits to domestic partners of county employees.

Extending benefits will make Rock County more competitive for recruitment purposes. If surrounding states, along with multiple in-state counties, offer equal benefits to all employees, how can this county realistically expect to compete for top-tier employees?

The most popular argument against extending benefits, other than a general opposition to the idea of gay marriage, is that it would be expensive. On the most basic level of this argument, these people are saying that their families are more important because of their sexual orientation. They don’t want to pay for the partner of a gay employee, but they fully expect gay people to pay to cover their wives or husbands. And, yes, it would be more expensive to cover the partners of gay county employees, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t happen. If the bottom line is all that matters, why offer these benefits to any spouses? It would be a lot cheaper if the county didn’t have to cover anyone.

Most important, it’s simply the right thing to do. There is no difference between a homosexual and heterosexual employee. Absolutely none. I couldn’t care less if the prison guard is gay or straight, as long as the person guards our prisons. Limiting the benefits of employees based on their sexual orientation is discrimination. It’s disgusting. It’s deplorable. And it makes me ashamed to have ever called Rock County home.



(Formerly of Janesville)

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