Atlanta Lawmakers Approve Domestic Partner Pension Rights

March 24, 2006 ( - Members of the Atlanta City Council this week gave unanimous backing to measures that would allow participants in the city's three pension funds to have registered domestic partners as designated beneficiaries.

The three separate bills approved by lawmakers now go on to Mayor Shirley Franklin for consideration, according to a news report on Web site. The bills, covering the city’s fire, police and general employee pension programs, were sponsored by Council member Anne Fauver.

If Franklin signs off on the legislation, would be the only Georgia municipality to offer such benefits to registered domestic partners. 

“Corporations, large and small, provide various services, opportunities, and benefits to their employees whether they are gay, lesbian or straight,” said Fauver. “Offering these benefits make good business sense. They are used to attract and retain the most highly qualified staff, faculty, and students and to establish a positive working and learning environment.”

The intent of this legislation is to ensure that gay and lesbian employees are treated equal to their straight counterparts under the city’s employee pension program, said Fauver, who has worked on the legislation since August 2005, according to the report.

The city previously approved legislation extending health benefits to domestic partners as have lawmakers at Fulton County where Atlanta is located (See  Georgia County Adds Domestic Partner Benefits ).

The city’s three pension funds amount to more than $1.7 billion. An estimated 6,000 full-time personnel are employed with the City of Atlanta. The legislation would include employees at the city-owned Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.

The text of one of the three Fauver bills is here .