September 24, 2020 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

City Council Same-Sex Benefits Extended:

Equal rights supporters lauded the first chance for an Equal Benefits ordinance in Santa Monica for same sex and heterosexual domestic partners to apply to City contractors. This ordinance would cover an overlooked section in the City’s support for equal benefits for domestic partners working for Santa Monica.

The intent is to prohibit discrimination from City contractors based on sexual orientation and marital status, bringing practices in line with non-discrimination laws. The ordinance requires contractors to apply the same health insurance and benefits that are offered to employee’s spouses to also be offered to employees with domestic partners.

Santa Monica Council member Richard Bloom requested staff to draft the ordinance language at the council meeting Tuesday, Oct. 26. This follows similar ordinances passed by the State legislature and in other major cities including San Francisco, San Diego, Oakland, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. San Diego passed the benefits ordinance this year, which will be used as an informational reference for the council members.

Starting in 1996, ordinances like this first gained momentum in San Francisco leading the State to pass an Equal Benefits ordinance in 2003. Los Angeles passed a similar ordinance ten years ago, joining six cities statewide and 16 cities across the country.

“I’m surprised we didn’t get to it sooner, I think its important for Santa Monica to be out there with other cities to set the example,” Bloom said. “I’m hoping that very soon won’t need to have an ordinance like this.”

Santa Monica first protected domestic partnerships from unfair eviction in 1995, encompassing children from these relationships at the turn of the century. That same year the council enacted equal benefits protection to firefighters and police officers in domestic partnerships. The following year all City employees in domestic same-sex or marital relationships received the equal benefits. Council member Kevin McKeown also expressed surprise that contractors hired by the City had not been included in these ordinances. He called it an oversight and expressed excitement to extend the benefit protection.

Marc Solomon, marriage director for Equality California, the largest statewide lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights advocacy organization, testified in person about the importance of this ordinance.

Equality California, citing 600,000 members in California since 1996, has moved more than 70 pieces of legislation in the state during the past decade. Bloom, who supports equal rights for same-sex couples including the right to marry, worked with the group to bring light to the disparity.

Tuesday’s discussion was to spur the City attorney to investigate and return with proposed language to pass the law in Santa Monica, Bloom said before the meeting. The process will take a few months to examine other municipal’s ordinances, and he said to gain input from community members. Bloom called the law a “small measure to level the playing field.”

The Equal Benefits ordinance will be treated much like the living wage law in place in Santa Monica, which requires a minimum wage for all City workers. Anyone who has a contract with the City would be required to offer the same level of benefits for domestic partners as heterosexual, married couples.

Bloom said before the meeting that the discrimination against same-sex couples – excluding people that love each other and are committed to one another in relationships –is “not right.” He said, “It’s shameful that they aren’t covered in the same way.” Until same-sex marriage is legal in the state, he said this ordinance would be an important benefit for families.

in News
Related Posts

Santa Monica Loses Vegan Restaurant

September 23, 2020

September 23, 2020

Space housing Santa Monica vegan restaurant Viva Vegan up for lease By Sam Catanzaro A vegan restaurant in Santa Monica...

Risks Posed by Wildfire Smoke

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

UCLA pulmonologist on how people can tell if the wildfires are making them sick By Toi Creel Even if you...

Will Los Angeles County See Another Spike in COVID-19 Cases?

September 22, 2020

September 22, 2020

County health officials keeping close eye on data this week By Sam Catanzaro Los Angeles County health officials are monitoring...

Edify TV: Santa Monica Fire Department Fighting Blazes Across State

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

The Santa Monica Fire Department has been busy helping combat wildfires burning throughout the state. Learn more in this video...

Lawmakers and Residents Take Steps Towards Police Reform

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Santa Monica residents will soon have more control of policing after local lawmakers took significant steps to reform the Santa...

2020 Census Due September 30th: Santa Monica Beat – September, 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * 2020 Census Due September 30th * Bobcat Fire Reaches Historical Size...

UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica Offers Free “Living With Diabetes” Zoom Patient Conference

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

By Staff Writer Although the novel coronavirus has dominated the health space this year, other diseases — like diabetes —...

SMa.r.t. Column: Spending and Pension Policies Are Undermining Our City’s Future

September 21, 2020

September 21, 2020

Our guest columnist this week is Marc L. Verville. He is a native of Santa Monica, now lives in Sunset...

4.6 Quake Felt in Santa Monica

September 19, 2020

September 19, 2020

4.6 magnitude quake recorded Friday night By Sam Catanzaro A 4.6 magnitude earthquake struck the San Gabriel Valley Friday sending...

Edify TV: Miramar Santa Monica Redevelopment

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

The Santa Monica skyline may look different in the future with a major redevelopment of the Fairmont Miramar Hotel &...

‘Fresh Prince Of Bel Air’ Mansion For Rent On AirBnb

September 18, 2020

September 18, 2020

Today on Westside Cribz, 30th anniversary of “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air” Airbnb is renting out the mansion for...

SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% : Santa Monica Beat – September, 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes. * SMMUSD Kindergarten Enrollment Down 20% * As Covid-19 Cases Drop Will...

Edify TV: Sit-down Dining Safety?

September 17, 2020

September 17, 2020

Despite a recent CDC report stating the risks of in-person dining, many Westside restaurant patrons feel the experience is safe....

Sur La Table Closing Santa Monica Location

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

1930s building listed for lease By Sam Catanzaro Sur La Table, the popular kitchenware retail chain, is closing its downtown...

Death by Suicide at Santa Monica Place

September 16, 2020

September 16, 2020

Man dies by suicide Wednesday morning By Sam Catanzaro A man died by suicide at Santa Monica Place mall Wednesday....