Offering benefits to the same sex partners of Metro employees is a matter of tolerance to Nashville Mayor Karl Dean. While a panel is being formed to study the cost of such a policy change, Dean says he feels it’s the right thing to do.
The push for same-sex benefits originated from the Metro Council, but Mayor Dean says he supports the idea, so long as it makes financial sense for the city.
Dean – who is a Democrat – says he’s not “driven by a political agenda.” He says following the corporate world in liberalizing benefits policies will make the city more attractive. He cites the three T’s coined by author Richard Florida, who says a flourishing city has technology, talent and tolerance.
“Tolerance is an important thing for a city to be great. And talent and technology can move around, and they’re going to move around where there is tolerance and where a city is open and friendly, and I think Nashville is all of those things.”
If the decision is made to move forward with benefits for same-sex couples, the mayor will have state lawmakers looking over his shoulder. Williamson County Republican Glen Casada says such a policy would have to be broadly written since the Tennessee constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
— cary gibson (@this1littlebird) October 14, 2013