A Pennsylvania commissioner for Lehigh county said he’s opposed to extending health care benefits to county employees in same-sex marriages because it could eventually lead to benefits for pets, too.
While same-sex marriage is not legal in Pennsylvania, County Executive Matt Croslis proposed a 2014 budget that extended health benefits to same-sex couples married in other states.
Commissioner Tom Creighton wants to amend that budget to remove same-sex marriage benefits.
“The state has a ban on same-sex marriage, so why should the county be offering benefits for same-sex marriage?” Creighton asked on Wednesday.
The county's proposed budget has a $10.3 million hole, according to The Morning Call.
“I don’t feel the county should be looking for new ways to give away taxpayer money," he added.
“Next it could be giving money out to people’s pets or whatever,” he said. “No, it probably won’t go that far.”
Creighton admitted he doesn’t support same-sex marriage.
"I feel marriage is between a man and a woman," he said. "In my book, what they call marriages between same-sex [couples] is not a marriage. It's a union."
Croslis, however, may exercise his executive authority to make sure those marriage benefits are extended without the approval of commissioners.
He argued that under the county’s current policy same-sex married couples are being discriminated against.
"I put it in there because I believe it's the right thing to do," he told The Morning Call on Wednesday. "I want it to stick. I want to fight for it and try to persuade them to do what I think is the right thing."