PUEBLO | The Pueblo City Council has rejected a proposal that would have let city employees have same-sex domestic partners added to their insurance and other benefits, angering activists who thought they had a commitment.
The City Council voted Monday to put it off for the time being but agreed to review it in the future if the economy improves.
Councilman Chris Nicoll said the city had recently been told about higher potential costs that need consideration.
“Given our budget situation, I don’t think we should be incurring more costs,” he said.
The council was rushing its consideration of the measure, which was introduced only two weeks ago, Nicoll said.
The vote angered gay and lesbian activists in the audience, and a police officer had to be summoned, the Pueblo Chieftain (http://tinyurl.com/9cmjvuu ) reported.
City human resources director Marisa Walker previously told council members that cities such as Arvada and Lakewood offer the benefits, but others, including Colorado Springs, do not. National statistics indicate that allowing domestic partners to qualify for city benefits could increase city costs by about 1 percent, she said.
Nicoll’s motion to postpone the measure also struck down another Democratic initiative — a proposed resolution that opposed the U.S. Supreme Court decision in its Citizens United ruling that found corporations also had free speech rights.
That resolution, already approved by Pueblo County commissioners, supports a constitutional amendment that declares corporations are not people.
“I think we should be trying to create a business friendly atmosphere here,” Nicoll said.
Information from: The Pueblo Chieftain, http://www.chieftain.com