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Indy mayor signs domestic partner benefits measure

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard has signed an ordinance extending the health care benefits of city employees to their domestic partners.

The Republican mayor tweeted Thursday he signed the ordinance that cleared the City-County Council last week.

Ballard had said that he preferred that the city offer benefits only to same-sex domestic partners because offering them to heterosexual partners might provide a disincentive to marry.

City officials have estimated that fewer than 30 of nearly 7,500 eligible workers would apply for the coverage. That would increase the city's health insurance costs by about $200,000, or less than 0.4 percent of the $58 million now spent.

Similar benefits are offered by other cities including Bloomington and Carmel; universities including Indiana, Purdue and Ball State; and private employers including Eli Lilly and Co.