On June 22, 2010, Mayor Cohen took a giant step forward with a bold move to offer healthcare benefits to city employees who are in a same sex domestic partnership. His move was lauded nationally (albeit briefly) and locally as being progressive and a great thing for Annapolis–one of the nation’s oldest cities.
Scott Bowling, who ran as an openly gay candidate for City Council was quoted in The Capital, “The perception in Annapolis has changed dramatically. I ran a campaign for City Council as an openly gay candidate and until the very end it was not an issue. That wouldn’t have been the same years ago. For the mayor of the capital city to come forward with this, I think will be a big boost across the state for workforce equality.”
Of course, any decision by any politician is bound to have detractors, and local blog, Annapolis Capital Punishment, found one in Eastport who was opposed to the decision. While the opposition appears to be fiscally based, according to The Capital, only one couple signed up.
According to Annapolis Capital Punishment, Wayne Adamson is quoted:
Regarding our mayor’s latest selections and decisions, I would like to get comments on the decision to give health benefits to partners of homosexual city employees. On what basis can Cohen make such a decision? Isn’t this a budget matter that needs to be approved by the City Council? I have asked both Cohen and my alderman (Kirby) by e-mail for a reply on questions I have had. No response has been forthcoming since I sent the e-mail several days ago. I am miffed that these undocumented partners are getting benefits on my tax dollars and my garbage collection is at the same time being cut to once a week.
Is this really about fiscal responsibility and once a week trash removal? Or is there something deeper. Annapolis Capital Punishment does a good job of taking city government to task and was no friend of former Mayor Ellen O. Moyer and never passed up an opportunity to criticize her–warranted or not. Is Cohen next in the sights of the publisher? If his recent column in The Capital is any indication, he just might be.
What are the opinions of the Eye On Annapolis readers? Do you think Cohen was right in making this benefit available? Or off the mark?