The Fate of Partner Benefits

Legislators say they'll keep their promise to the LGBT community in Allegheny County

As same-sex partner benefits are debated throughout the state, Allegheny County is the latest district looking to implement them. State Rep. Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny), co-chairman of the new LGBT Equality Caucus in the legislature, says Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald intends to keep his promise by implementing same-sex domestic-partner benefits for county employees as early as this year.

“This will send a positive signal to prospective businesses and residents that we value diversity in Allegheny County and will help the county to attract and retain quality employees,” says Frankel. “Allegheny County will join major employers – such as the 59 percent of Fortune 500 companies – that provide domestic-partner benefits to their employees. This is also part of a continuing statewide trend toward greater fairness and equality for our LGBT family members, friends, co-workers and neighbors.”

Late last year, members of the state House and Senate created the LGBT Equality Caucus to advance LGBT rights in the state and bring attention to important issues impacting the community. As we reported, Equality Pennsylvania first presented the idea, which has attracted attention and membership from 26 legislators statewide. It’s the first caucus of its kind dedicated solely to educating legislators on the lives and challenges facing Pennsylvania’s LGBT citizens, as well as being a voice on equality issues within the legislature.