A Republican county commissioner in Pennsylvania is fighting to deny health care benefits to same-sex couples because he believes that taxpayer money could soon be sent to people's pets.
Lehigh County Executive Matt Croslis has proposed a $361.7 million budget, which includes a $10 million short fall, that has set aside $219,000 to cover benefits for same-sex couples. While Pennsylvania has not legalized same-sex marriage, the money would be used for those who are married outside the state who than move to Pennsylvania. Arguing against this is Lehigh County Commissioner, Republican Tom Creighton.
Speaking to the Morning Call, Creighton stated that if benefits were to be given to same-sex couples, it could be a slippery slop, leading to benefits being given to people's pets.
"The state has a ban on same-sex marriage, so why should the county be offering benefits for same-sex marriage?...I don't feel the county should be looking for new ways to give away taxpayer money. Next it could be giving money out to people's pets or whatever. No, it probably won't go that far."
The Morning Call also notes that because the county is self insured, if the benefits aren't used, it won't cost the county anything. The projected numbers are actually far less than the $219,000 that is set aside for the benefits.
Approached by Leigh Valley Live, Croslis was asked whether he would use his power to veto the amendment that would ban benefits to same-sex couples.
"You're talking about such a big veto, and I don't know what other amendments are coming forward...And just because he has an amendment doesn't mean it will pass. If he's the only person supporting it, I wouldn't even have to think about vetoing anything."
The argument over benefits to same-sex couples has been on going in all 50 states, but Republicans have increasingly been on the wrong side of the battle over the last few years. In June of 2013, the conservative slanted Supreme Court struck down DOMA (The Defense of Marriage Act) and recent polls show record high support for same-sex marriage from coast to coast, but Republicans still won't budge on their anti-gay stance.
Tom Creighton, like many other high profile Republicans, have stood pat with their anti-gay rhetoric. Former 2012 Republican presidential nominee Rick Santorum famously stated that same-sex marriage could lead to humans marrying dogs. If the United States is going to see real equality in the future, the tone of the Republican party will have to drastically change.