Coral Gables Commission Votes Unanimously To Give LGBT Employees Partnership Benefits

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Coral Gables has joined seven other local municipalities and Miami-Dade County in passing a Domestic Partnership ordinance which grants LGBT city employees partnership benefits.

The issue came to a head after an openly lesbian police officer was denied bereavement leave after the death of the father of her longtime partner.

Acting Major Rene Tastet has served with the Coral Gables Police Department for 22-year, but wasn't able to receive the same benefits for her partner as her straight co-workers did. Though, she was able to take time off through other means to grieve her partner's father, she decided to take a stand for LGBT rights.

With the help of SAVE Dade and the backing of the Fraternal Order of the Police, Tastet lobbied for the city to pass a domestic partnership ordinance. The battle took more than a year, as the Coral Gables commission seemed to drag its feet. SAVE Dade even accused the commission as using the ordinance as a "negotiating tool in its collective bargaining negotiations with its labor unions."

Well, according to South Florida Gay News, the commission finally took the ordinance up yesterday and passed it unanimously.

"I have been a police officer with the City for 22 years and today I finally have the same rights as my fellow officers," Tastet told the paper.

Miami Beach, Miami, North Miami, North Bay Village, South Miami, Palmetto Bay, Miami Shores, and Miami-Dade County also offer domestic partnership benefits to LGBT employees.

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