El Paso Grants Domestic Partners Benefits
Yesterday the El Paso, Texas City Council voted 7-1 to grant health benefits to the partners of the city's LGBT employees. The vote, which was spurred by bad publicity after a gay couple was kicked out of a local restaurant for kissing, came after weeks of protest and criticism from local religious leaders.
A huge crowd attended the City Council meeting and 42 of them signed up to speak. Debates on both sides of the issue got heated. One man in opposition said, "You can Google it, the health risks of gay sex." He also motioned to his City Council Representative Steve Ortega, to have the floor for 12 minutes to explain. The motion was denied.Another woman and her husband who support the measure said, "I simply came here today to ask you to consider all of us as equals." Each person had just one minute to speak about the issue. Some came with pictures of Jesus on their T-shirts and their Bible in hand. Speakers included heterosexual couples who were in support of the measure, along with pastors and other clergymen and women. To keep order, City Council Representative Susie Byrd stopped the meeting to say same-sex couples should not be associated with pedophiles. The disclaimer came after Byrd found some remarks to be offensive.Anti-gay activists left the meeting vowing to vote out their councilmembers.