Nashville Metro Council passes domestic partnership benefits

Last night, Nashville’s Metro Council approved domestic partner benefits for all city employees by a vote of 27-7.

The result was expected, but some council members spoke out strongly against the policy before the vote.

Councilman Bill Pridemore said his and his constituents’ values would be “compromised” by the idea, and Councilman Phil Claiborne moved to defer the final vote indefinitely, citing budgetary concerns. But Councilman Lonnell Matthews moved to table Claiborne’s motion, and the council agreed.

Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling said the financial impact of the policy would be small — $450,000 or so — within the $1.89 billion operating budget the council had passed moments earlier.

After the vote, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean called it a “big day” for the city: “If we believe that each person has value and we treat each other with respect, then I think this city will be in fine shape. I’m proud of the effort, I’m proud of our city and I’m proud of you all.”