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      Toledo mayor backs measure for domestic partner benefits

      Mayor Mike Bell plans to introduce legislation for extending city employee benefits to domestic partners.

      After an advocacy group told Toledo Mayor Mike Bell that city employee benefits aren't available to their domestic partners, the mayor decided to present new legislation to the city council on Tuesday.

      Under the measure, city workers who live with a partner but are not married could receive health care and other benefits. Both same-sex and heterosexual domestic partners would be eligible.

      Related documents Definition of Domestic Partner Domestic Partner Ordinance

      "This legislation helps us update our human resources policies, attempts to provide equal standing for all of our employees, and allows us to be a more competitive employer through our recruitment and hiring policies," Mayor Bell said in a statement.

      The benefits do not come without a cost to employees. Similar to employees that participate in the city plan to access coverage for a spouse or children, the premium cost must be paid for a single plus one or family coverage.

      Toledo has a Domestic Partner Registry that partners can use to file their status with the city, but registering does not grant benefits.

      Other Ohio cities and counties including Cleveland, Columbus, Lucas County and Franklin County offer domestic partner benefits, as does the University of Toledo and the Toledo Regional Chamber of Commerce. Currently, 21 states and over 200 local governments nationwide and 14 colleges and universities around Ohio offer health insurance and other benefits to their employees' domestic partners.