November 23, 2014


Elyria extends benefits to same-sex couples

ELYRIA — City employees in same-sex married relationships are now allowed to apply for health benefits for their spouses under a change made effective May 1.

Marriage among same-sex couples remains illegal in Ohio, but it is permitted in other states.

But if an Elyria employee so wishes to travel to a place where such unions are legally performed — like New York or Illinois — than the city will honor that marriage and allow the employee to enroll their spouse in the health insurance program, said Richard Jackson, the city’s assistant safety service director in charge of human resources.

“We would start working on it for anyone and the same eligibility and enrollment requirements like birth certificates and a marriage license would be needed,” Jackson said. “To us, it would be a very nominal increase in expenses.”

Jackson said one employee has already enrolled a spouse.

Elyria is not the only city to take this step.

Cleveland, Akron and Cuyahoga County also offer benefits to same-sex couples.

“We’re sort of late to the game,” Jackson said. “We started looking into this a year ago. There were some legal concerns, but never any moral concerns.”

The city is a self-funded insurer, meaning it pays the full claims of its employees and their dependants. Both employees and the city contribute to the health fund each year and it is administered through a third-party insurer.

The city offers a financial incentive for employees whose spouses elect to take health insurance, if offered, through their employees. Same-sex couples will be eligible for the same incentive, Jackson said.

“It will be the very same benefits and incentives we offer other married couples,” he said.

Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer said Lorain only offers traditional spousal coverage.

“Until the law on same sex marriage changes, I don’t see us getting them,” he said.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.

  • Mark B

    Should the taxpayers of Elyria not have a say in this. after all it is our taxes that is going to be providing the extra benefits. We are going to remember this when the next tax levy comes up ..


      If your vote hinges on someone’s sexual preference we as a society are better off without you

      • Sis Delish

        But, that’s the Democrats method… can’t upset the weenies.

        • LOLOLOL

          Uhhh so the Republicans are the one fighting for this?

          You are not familiar with reality are you??

          • Sis Delish


            There. I’m speaking a language you might be familiar with.

          • golfingirl

            He has absolutely no clue what he is saying.

    • Matthew Baldauf

      Do you want a say in what ethnicities get benefits as well? Because thats basicly what you are saying,

    • stop ur whining part deux

      So you are just as upset when a straight city employee passes the benefits on to their spouse right? You have too. Fair is fair.

    • nomokids

      And remember when you vote for politicians too Mark B. Your taxes are spent on all the social injustices in your community: to patrol, arrest, legal fees, house, and feed so many of the fine examples of our society: prostitutes, pedophiles, druggies, killers, etc. And you complain because taxes are spent for people who work for their benefits?

    • jj

      By that logic, you should also interview, and approve of every government employee, after all your tax dollars are paying them.

    • HankKwah

      When’s the last time your taxes went up to cover city employees bennies?Whether they have a same-sex partner or not, I’ve never seen insurance prices go up.

    • Peter Aldrich

      We’ll have our chance in fall!

      • Peter Aldrich

        Just as I will not EVER support a school issue as long as Common Core is a part of the curriculum, I will not be able to support the city with this………

        • Drew B

          way to cling tight to your bigotry. Is it hard to still live in 1950 while everyone else is in 2014?

          • Peter Aldrich

            So, I’m a bigot because I have MORAL BELIEFS. Wow. Guess that makes you a Religious Bigot Drew…….

          • Joe

            some people’s moral beliefs mean everyone should be treated the same.

          • Drew B

            You’re a bigot because you think someone should be deprived of equal rights because of their sexuality. I hate religion because it makes idiots like you feel superior to others.

  • Barbara Radke

    Something positive the city is doing. Great going leaders. It’s time all people were treated in a like manner and we put our own values aside and consider the welfare of all.

    • Joe Smith

      Too bad we can’t afford it

    • Peter Aldrich

      I don’t see it as a positive.

      • LOLOLOL

        You don’t see much happiness in your life either so maybe there is some correlation?

  • Edward Nonamaker

    Why should I have to put my values aside so that once again 2 people that engage in an unholy act collect my tax dollars with me having no say so as to how my tax dollars are spent, I have very serious issues with this! Barbara Radke why don’t you just go downtown and donate your paycheck every 2 weeks so these people are happy and you can put your values aside.

    • nomokids

      You prefer your tax dollars be spent on convicts, to keep them in prison, pay their medical bills, feed them, pay for their years of appeals and legal fees? You also prefer your tax dollars be spent on public assistance (housing, medical care, food) so wonderful, law abiding, fine examples of social appropriateness don’t have to work? Don’t forget that your tax dollars are spent for police to arrest and convict these folks. Where do you want to direct your taxes?

    • Rebecca A. White

      Who are you to judge??

      • Edward Nonamaker

        Who are you to spend my tax dollars with me having a say so.

    • Bob

      Unholy act?? Why because some magical being up in the clouds told you it was??

      What is wrong, is a grown man still believing in fairy tales.

      Ok Now this. You put your paycheck into an account to help pay for all the criminals in the jails. Because I don’t think I should have to pay or them. It’s against my values to keep convicts happy.

      I am not gay. But I would rather have my tax dollar’s going to law abiding people. Then it have to be wasted in the prison systems.

      I am not saying close the prison. I am saying give the criminals just what it takes to stay alive. A prison should be treated the way they were back in the 1800′s. A cell, a bed and meals. Not all the extra crap that they get now.

      • Edward Nonamaker

        This story was not about jail or convicts , this story was about offering health care to couples of the same sex,I am against it for
        more then just one reason , I stated my reason and have read others , it is just one of many non-responsible acts by this areas administration.

        • Bob

          OK I know what the story is about, first off.

          Second, if you are against your tax money going to same sex couples, i.e. gay people. Then apparently you don’t want to pay the social security tax. Because that money goes to gay people on social security or even to pay taxes for gay people who are one welfare. So were does your discomfort end???

          Third, what is an irresponsible act. Is when we have to pay taxes for criminals to have all the comforts they have at home while they are in JAIL.

          Dude. The 1950′s, 60′s and 70′s called. They want their opinion back.

          • Edward Nonamaker

            This story is not about jail , get off that, I have problems with anyone collecting welfare, social security is a benefit that is paid into and received at a later date, I am not a dude, as for the 50s 60s & 70s this country was at its greatest during those years now we are a bunch of politically correct cowards that kowtow to every liberal do gooder who feels slighted by the system, oh boo hoo to you.

          • jj

            Ah yes, the 50′s, 60′s, and, 70′s. The good old days, of segregated schools, race riots, Vietman, free love, and Rock ‘n Roll….sarcasm intended.

          • Sis Delish

            Always using the argument about the past being “dated”.

            Tell us, Mr. Enlightenment, what decade you profess to be from, and the major accomplishments of the same, dude.

            And, please do it without referring to any pablum you learned in public education, the most inefficient means of education ever devised, as is evidenced by your total lack of respect for the concept of History.

  • Pablo Jones

    Doesn’t matter. Soon Elyria will have to cut spousal health benefits anyway.


    All men are created equal

    • golfingirl

      That is the problem, all men are created “equal” with the same body parts.

      Men were born with certain body parts, women with others.

      There is a reason for that.

      So, are you gay?

      • nomokids

        That is the dumbest justification ever!

        • golfingirl

          Thank you!

          • LOLOLOL

            Sorry you can t comprehend this basic understanding

            Maybe I should fornicate with the Chief of police in key west and act like Im better than everyone else.

            Would that help you understand simpleton?

      • B4CE

        Impressive LOL, it usually takes The Gurl multiple back and froths to ask if a poster is gay. The Gurl is very curious about others sexuality!
        Just don’t ask about the free market and how the drug companies manipulate it!

        • jj

          Perhaps she’s more curious about her own sexuality, or lack there of.

          • B4CE

            I have often wondered why she asks the orientation of everyone that has an opposing belief from hers.
            Maybe you are on to something, she could be trying to hook up, just not sure which team to play for

      • LOLOLOL

        Men are created equal so if they want to marry each other they can.

        Tough concept, Hey you allowed back into Key West yet?

      • LOLOLOL

        The reason for that is we are are all uni-human until the X chromosome kicks in.

        Say is it fair that you are allowed to have an affair with the Chief of Police in Key West and have a child out of wedlock while being with a different baby daddy?

        Oh but thats ok for you to fornicate but not other people right?

        • golfingirl

          I have no idea what you are talking about.

          Tell me, you are just pretending to be this stupid.

          I have no biological children.

          Must have been an “immaculate conception”…..laughing.

  • golfingirl

    “To us, it would be a very nominal increase in expenses.”

    When you have no money, there is no such thing as a “nominal” increase.

  • Bibliobear

    I personally don’t know why LGBT people insist on participating in a miserably failed institution like marriage, but civil rights are not subject to referendum. Interracial marriage also used to be illegal, but it was legalized without anyone voting on it. Why should same-sex marriage be different?

    • Bob

      Very good point.

    • jj

      The institution didn’t fail, it’s the people in it that failed.

  • Starryeyes63

    wow what “great” idea close all the prisons let all the felons “and such” out…………………..

  • golfingirl

    What does that have to do with this discussion?

    I wish we did not have to spent tax dollars on any above.

    Unfortunately it is a necessity.

    I am not sure covering the benefits for same-sex couples is.

    • Bob

      OK I do agree with you. But spending millions of dollars to keep criminals happy is not Necessity. They should get just enough to stay alive and that’s in.

      • golfingirl

        I agree.

  • Razorback Twou

    Are you implying that the police are gay?

  • Patty Siniard Doman

    As it should be .Now let’s clean up all the crime downtown ,

  • SniperFire

    The beginning of the end for family benefits for public workers. Works for me.