September 12, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 12, 2013
CONTACT: ACLU of Florida Media Office, (786) 363 - 2737

Palm Beach Gardens, FL – Earlier this week, the City Council of Palm Beach Gardens voted unanimously to extend health-insurance benefits to domestic partners of City employees beginning in January 2014. Although the City in the past has cited cost concerns as reasons for not extending the benefits, the City changed course after a September 4 letter from City firefighter Sloan Grimsley discussing her family’s need for the benefits.

“I’m thrilled,” stated Grimsley, who was informed of the change by City Manager Ron Ferris. “It means a lot to me and my family to have our basic needs covered, so I’m really grateful that the City is doing this.”

Daniel Tilley, a staff attorney specializing in LGBT rights for the ACLU of Florida, agreed. “We’re very pleased that the City has realized that it is simply good policy to extend equal benefits to all. Folks like Sloan risk their lives to support their community, and it’s only fitting for the City to treat her fairly in return. This fairer treatment is a victory not only for Sloan, her partner, and their son and two daughters, but for all employees of the City of Palm Beach Gardens. We look forward to working with other cities and counties across Florida so that they might join the dozens of Florida public employers that already offer these basic benefits.”