On Wednesday, Brace initially proposed an ordinance to restore that $219,000 to this year’s county budget. But he agreed to withdraw the proposed ordinance and replace it with the motion approved by the majority of commissioners.

Change comes July 1

McCarthy said the county benefits for same-sex spouses will be in place by around July 1.

Dougherty asked why it will take so long, saying the county already has a preliminary list of applicants. He said the coverage should begin immediately.

“We’re really only talking about 30 or 40 days,” said McCarthy. “This court case is all of eight days old. But in response to that, we’re doing it as quickly as we can.”

Allentown resident Thomas Cunningham, who spoke just before the vote, wanted to hear every commissioner’s opinion on the issue. They did not respond to that suggestion.

Cunningham, a retired county employee with a same-sex spouse, also questioned why it will take the county until July 1 to make the change. “You have my application for benefits for two years.”

“I think it’s ridiculous to wait until July 1,” said Schware. Scheller agreed.

McCarthy said the timeline is the same for both same-sex and opposite-sex couples applying for the benefits.