Richmond City Council to Consider Recognizing Same-Sex Unions - ABC 8NEWS - WRIC | Richmond, Virginia News & Weather

Richmond to Consider Recognizing Same-Sex Unions

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City Council members Parker Agelasto, Chris Hilbert, and Council President Charles Samuels have introduced the proposed ordinance. If passed by council, it means same-sex couples employed by the city who legally married in other states would be recognized and receive benefits - the same as heterosexual couples.

"I'm doing simply because it's the right thing to do," Agelasto says.

Same-sex marriage isn't legal in Virginia and councilman Agelasto says this isn't an attempt to change Virginia law....instead it's a step forward to acknowledge same-sex couples who are already married.

"The Federal Government has no ability to discriminate benefits to these same-sex spouses who have legal marriages regardless of where they live," he says.

There is one local pastor in the City of Richmond who is standing against this proposed ordinance, calling it wrong. Pastor Steve Parson of Richmond Christian Center is not afraid to express his opinion on the hot topic.

"We're glad about that. We'd like it to stay the same," Parson says. "I'm one who feels laws shouldn't be changed because society is changing. Let the law stay like it is."

The councilman says this isn't an attempt to change the law in Virginia overnight, but rather avoid any discrimination.

"We can't pick and choose which population what to apply it to, and what not to apply it to," Agelasto says. "That's the first definition of discrimination. And that's why I feel we need to take this step with City Employees."

If passed, the extended benefits would be included in the 2015 budget year. At this time, it's unclear how many city employees this ordinance would help.

 

"Even if it impacts one employee who is currently being discriminated against. They're doing the right thing," Agelasto says.

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