Bellevue City Council members on Monday directed city staff to develop for council action a strategy to implement a citywide domestic partnership benefits plan.
The council directive came on a recommendation by Councilwoman Claudia Balducci, who emphasized the council “is interested and has been interested” in pursuing the issue for some time.
"The time has come to take action and give clear direction," said Bellevue Mayor Grant Degginger. "The city takes pride in treating its employees fairly and in providing competitive wages and benefits."
A recent lawsuit has now brought the issue to the forefront, he said.
Last week Lambda Legal filed a lawsuit against Bellevue on behalf of three gay city employees.
The employees claim in their lawsuit that the city's policy of limiting benefits such as health care insurance to employees with spouses of the opposite sex is discriminatory.
The draft implementation strategy is expected to be delivered to council members in May and would include all city employees, union and non-union.
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