So how fitting was it that, just the day before, the Jackson County Legislature was killing an effort to let county workers sign up their domestic partners, same sex and otherwise, for health-insurance benefits? Saying they could save 2 percent on the premiums, legislators pleaded tight budgets, not tight asses.
But that didn't stop Victor Callahan, chair of the legislature, from inserting a little social commentary. "Marriage is a foundation of American society," said confirmed bachelor Callahan.
A similar domestic-partnership plan proposed by Mayor Kay Barnes is sitting on a desk somewhere at City Hall. "The mayor's goal is to try to get it implemented by the start of this coming fiscal year," says her office's Richard DeHart.
She might want to hurry up, especially since County Legislator Ron Finley just announced that he's running for City Council. Finley joined Callahan in dissing domestic partners, and that has some queer folk fuming.
Finley tells us he voted against the deal for "economic reasons" and because he wasn't sure how couples would prove they're sufficiently domesticated. Simply signing an affidavit isn't enough, he says. (Perhaps tattoos, receipts for couples' counseling or Polaroids of hers-and-hers La-Z-Boys might convince him). But if he were elected to the City Council, and if he were presented with a better plan, Finley promises, he would reconsider.
"My record in the area of human rights and civil rights, I'll stand on," he adds. "I don't think people should be discriminated against because of their sexual orientation." So we hereby commence holding our breath for Finley to push for some legal recognition for gay couples, which would have solved last week's dilemma at the county.
Meanwhile, gay brothers and sisters, get out there and start saving the city!