On November 16, Philadelphia City Council's Committee on Law and Government unanimously passed the Equal Benefits Bill #110057. If it passes the full City Council in early December, this bill will require city contractors to offer the same employment benefits to same-sex partners as are offered to heterosexual couples.
On November 27, the Green Party of Philadelphia City Committee, www.gpop.org, endorsed this legislation and urged City Council to pass it swiftly. The Green Party is the only political party that, in keeping with the Green Key Values of diversity, social justice and feminism, supports full legal and political equality for all persons, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, characteristics, and expression.
"We endorse the Equal Benefits Bill #110057 because it will be a small step forward for Philadelphia's same-sex couples," said Chris Robinson, member of the Green Party City Committee. "It will remove some of the discrimination they face -- but not all of the discrimination."
The Green Party urges elected Philadelphia politicians to work for fairness as did the Green Party Mayor of New Paltz, NY, Jason West, who in 2003 solemnized same-sex weddings in defiance of state law. West drew 19 misdemeanor counts (later dismissed) and a restraining order. Same-sex marriage was legalized in New York in July, 2011.
Belinda Davis, Green Party Treasurer, hopes that "politicians in Philadelphia might likewise represent all their constituents and stand up for what is right, by offering their full support to the Equal Benefits Bill and sending a powerful message to Harrisburg."
"All Philadelphians should contact their City Council Representatives to support this measure to provide equal benefits for same-sex partners," said Dave Butler, a Green from Roxborough. "Tell your Council Members that if they fail to support this bill, they will be perpetuating unjust discrimination against same-sex couples. Demand an end to all barriers to equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people."
For more information about the Green Party, please contact 215-243-7103.