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Supporters Cheer Metro Council's Passage of Domestic Partner Benefits -- Sky Arnold

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NASHVILLE, TENN -- Gay Rights supporters cheered a historic vote Tuesday night in Nashville.

Metro Council voted 27 to 7 to give the partners of gay Metro employees access to benefits.

Those employees have to prove they're in a domestic partnership and they have to have lived together for a year. Metro employee Matthew Fuson says it's about more than just getting benefits.

"I'm elated.  Thrilled this justifies everything I do.  This is treating me and my partner as equals within the government," said Fuson.

Before the vote several opponents on the council spoke out against it.

Council Member Bill Pridemore says the change goes against his constituents' beliefs.

Phil Claiborne was more concerned about the cost. Mayor Karl Dean's office says the costs to add health benefits will be $450,000 to $800,000.

Claiborne worries those costs will end up being much more.

"Let's get some hard data so that we actually know what this is going to cost us," said Claiborne.


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