El Paso City Council Restores Domestic Partner Benefits in Tie Vote, Broken by Mayor

Last November, El Paso, Texas voters approved a referendum denying health benefits to unmarried partners of city employees.

Cityhall Last night El Paso's City Council voted to restore those benefits, the El Paso Times reports:

After hearing spirited arguments from members of the public on both sides of the issue, the council split 4-4. Mayor John Cook, who proposed the ordinance restoring benefits, broke the tie in favor of it despite a ballot initiative in November ending them.

…Pastor Tom Brown, who helped organize the November ballot initiative, on Monday said he would organize recall petitions against Cook and city Reps. Susie Byrd and Steve Ortega, who voted in favor of the benefits. Brown said he would wait until September before gathering the signatures needed to support a successful recall.

The language in the anti-gay, voter-approved initiative was so broad that instead of cutting out the benefits for just gays and unmarried partners, it cut out benefits for approximately 100 other people as well.

Read much more about last night's vote here. Folks were praying outside the building that gays would not get benefits. Sick: 

Just before Tuesday's vote, dozens, including some clerics, huddled outside the council chamber and prayed they would be successful in ending city health benefits for gay and unmarried partners of employees.

City Restores Domestic Partner Benefits [el paso times]