Domestic partner benefits reinstated by Tahoe board |

Domestic partner benefits reinstated by Tahoe board

Annie Flanzraich / North Lake Tahoe Bonanza

LAKE TAHOE ” In a 4-1 vote the Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees reinstated health benefits for domestic partners of district employees Wednesday night.

The vote came after the board revoked the same benefits in a 3-2 vote Feb. 25.

“Thank you for reconsidering this,” said River Coyote, an Incline Village woman who married her partner of 11 years in May 2007 shortly after the California Supreme Court overturned a ban against gay marriage. “It takes a lot of courage to listen when you knew you were coming in here to a lot of people who were upset.”

About 60 people attended the meeting with Coyote, many spoke about equality and fairness ” a message the two trustees who voted against the Feb. 25 motion mirrored.

“We should not say to one employee that we are going to pay you less because we don’t approve of the relationship you have entered into,” said Chuck Weinberger, a trustee who voted against the motion Feb. 25. “If they have a committed relationship we should say you are getting the same amount of benefits as the other person who is in same committed relationship but it might be called a different name.”

The agenda item to reconsider the vote was brought forward by Trustee Bea Epstein. Trustee John Bohn was the dissenting vote in the decision.

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The board also voted unanimously vote to direct staff to bring the board a revised domestic partnership contract that includes an affidavit.