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Victory in Philly: Court OKs benefits for same-sex life partners of city employees

More forward momentum at the local level for gay couples, this time in Philly. City employees can form “life partnerships” and receive worker benefits that married couples receive. Note the demeaning comment by the wingnut judge that plans to appeal. (

The justices overturned a lower court, which ruled two years ago that city lawmakers had overstepped their authority and created “a new marital status” by recognizing same-sex relationships. Only the state, that court said, had a right to regulate marriage.

Writing for the high court, Justice Russell M. Nigro said Philadelphia hadn’t created a new type of marriage at all, or trampled on state sovereignty, when it decided in 1998 to let the long-term romantic partners of gay and lesbian city employees participate in city health and benefits plans.

“We do not believe that the city’s mere designation of “life partnership” as a “marital status” demonstrates that it was equating life partnerships with state-sanctioned marriage,” Nigro wrote. “Indeed, even though the legislation affords life partners certain limited rights and benefits that spouses also enjoy, those rights and benefits are but a small fraction of what marriage affords to its participants.”

Even with the law, he noted, same-sex couples still wouldn’t have the right to file joint tax returns, or avoid testifying against each other in a criminal trial, or automatically receive workers compensation when their partner dies.

William Devlin, the conservative activist who sued to stop the city’s plan, vowed to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is confused on this if they don’t think that the city of Philadelphia has created a new class of marital rights,” Devlin said.

“I guess what they’re saying is that ‘the family’ is anybody who has appeared on Jerry Springer,” he added, referring to the television talk show host whose programs often feature people in unorthodox and destructive relationships.

[I want to note here that the county and city government of Durham, NC have partnership benefits; it was the first county to do so in the state — a RED state. We’re an island of blue in wingnut state.]


UPDATE: You knew I would do this. I headed over to Freeperland, just to see the response to this story. The ignorance just doesn’t quit.


How about by doggy?? Will she qualify???


5 posted on 12/06/2004 5:31:55 PM PST by jrfaug06

So this is only for Gay people and not strait folks? Special privilages because they chose an unethical lifestyle?

6 posted on 12/06/2004 5:40:28 PM PST by MaxMax

To: Sub-Driver

Break those insurance companies so legitimate families can no longer have health insurance and Hillary care will be baaaack on the street again…

Bring the worst human disease into the hospitals where others can get infected as well….

Sodomites are bio terror incubators ,carriers and inoculators


11 posted on 12/06/2004 6:03:47 PM PST by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)

To: EdReform; backhoe; Yehuda; Clint N. Suhks; saradippity; stage left; Yakboy; I_Love_My_Husband;

Homosexual Agenda Ping – more from Philadelphia, which used to be known as the “city of brotherly love” and is now known as the “city of same sex sodomy”.


There has been lots of nastiness from Philadelphia and the “gay” agenda. This is just more dribbles from the same fetid swamp. Aided and abetted, you’ll notice, by leftist judges. Let me and ItsOurTimeNow know if anyone wants on/off this pinglist.

13 posted on 12/06/2004 6:52:54 PM PST by little jeremiah (What would happen if everyone decided their own “right and wrong”?)

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding