Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Forbidden Fruit

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Forbidden Fruit

Article excerpt

Unlike Adam and Eve, Williamson County, in Texas, hasn't succumbed to the temptation of the Apple. Three of the five commissioners objected to the computer company's plans to build an $80 million office complex, complete with 1,500 jobs and a projected infusion of $300 million into the local economy over several years. So they took away Apple's tax abatement of $750,000, saying they preferred their Garden of Eden the way it was.

So what was the worm in the Apple? Unmarried partners of its employees are eligible for the company's health-care benefits. This policy is perceived, at least by some in Williamson County, to be a direct threat to social stability. As one resident expressed it, Williamson County "was not founded on same-sex lovers and live-in lovers." The pressure on the county commissioners was too much. David S. Hays explained his vote against Apple: "If I had voted yes, I would have had to walk into my church with people saying, `There is the man who brought homosexuality to Williamson County. …

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