For Councilman James Kenney, offering new health care protections for same-sex couples simply makes good financial sense. That’s why he’s introduced a bill that would offer tax incentives to employers who offer health plans for LGBT and partnered employees. Kenney says that in addition to the tax breaks attracting more job growth and talent to the city, it’s also an important step toward LGBT equality.
“All Philadelphians deserve nothing less than dignified and equal treatment at work, at the hospital or doctor, and from their government; regardless of marital status, gender identity or sexual orientation,” Kenney says. But up until now, state laws have made it problematic for both same-sex and life partners to access equal benefits in Philly – the same benefits that straight employees and married couples have been enjoying for years.
And the timing is essential. Kenney says that even though Philly is the sixth largest city in the country, it’s 90th out of 100 in job growth. But the breakdown of LGBT demographics shows that not only are LGBT Americans well-educated (66 percent are college grads and almost one million are military veterans), but that 60 percent are homeowners, almost 40 percent make purchasing decisions at work and comprise at least five percent of the overall consumer market in the U.S.