Great news!! Racine evidently has resolved all its fiscal challenges such that we can now contemplate adding domestic partnership benefits for city employees.
Racine has in recent years seen a 50% drop in property values without a commensurate reduction in property values or property taxes. The population has been in a fairly steady decline for a few decades, leaving fewer to bear the tax burden. Is this really the time to consider adding a huge new entitlement to partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, roommates etc....of city employees? Obviously not.
But what about basic fairness? Should the city discriminate against unmarried couples and in favor of married ones? Is marriage an institution that we should favor over other relationships?
It seems to me the city has two separate questions to address. First the alderman must determine whether marriage is an institution that should be treated favorably relative to other relationships. And If their answer is no, it should not be assumed that the proper course of action is to add benefits for unmarried partners. Another option would be to eliminate benefits for anyone other than the employee.
I am sure the latter option would bring out some unlikely defenders of marriage. Might be fun to watch.