City considers adding domestic partner benefits for employees - WSMV News 4

City considers adding domestic partner benefits for Metro employees

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There's a push to make Nashville a more attractive place to live, and it involves a possible change in city policy.

Recently, more than two dozen Metro City Council members signed a letter asking the mayor to explore the option of the city providing domestic partner benefits for Metro employees.

Backers say such a policy change would be one more item to add to the list of what makes Nashville an "it city."

"What we're tying to do here is just make sure we're making Nashville the best place to live, work and play," said Brady Banks, council member for District 4.

Banks says that best standard includes not just pay, but benefits for city employees.

So Banks and others sent a letter to Mayor Karl Dean urging him to form a committee to look at the option of offering domestic partner benefits for employees.

"This is something I think Nashville needs to look at, at this point in time, to make sure we remain competitive for attracting the best employees and treating our employees as fairly as possible," said Peter Westerholm, District 6 council member.

But the city offering domestic partner benefits is far from a done deal. Currently, same-sex marriages are not legal in the Volunteer State.

"If the state laws are changed, then I think it's something that warrants Metro reviewing it. Unless those state laws are changed, I see no reason for us even to take this up," said Councilman Robert Duvall.

The mayor's office says they plan to move forward with setting up a committee to explore the domestic partner benefits, which will require a vote by the council.

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