Update: Domestic Partnership Benefits at Western Kentucky University
February 26, 2010 2 Comments
I first mentioned the issue here on Wednesday, when the news emerged that the Benefits committee declined to give their recommendation for Domestic Partnership benefits, yet again.
Today, the Bowling Green Daily News covered it.
Tony Glisson, who is director of WKU Department of Human Resources and a member of the Benefits Committee, isn’t saying much about the decision, or how they got there. In fact, we don’t even know who all sits on the committee. The only members we know of are Glisson, and the appointees from the university senate, which totals three or four out of the fourteen people that sit on the committee.
“…I don’t understand the board’s decision,” said Skylar Baker-Jordan, now a senior. “And I don’t understand the secrecy around the decision. The board has not at all been forthcoming about their reasons and what they have said does not hold water because U of L and UK have both done this successfully.”
Secrecy at a public institution on issues and decisions like this are shady. Committees like this are supposed to keep minutes, that is, a record. But searching Western’s website reveals nothing–the committee has no page, nor minutes posted anywhere on Western’s web site. The closest you get is mentions of the committee on University Senate minutes, which are only easily found through the search box.
Glisson claims that the committee’s decision is based off of the amendment in Kentucky’s Constitution that bans gay marriage. However, the University of Kentucky, Northern Kentucky University, and the University of Louisville all offer domestic partnership benefits to their employees.
Dr. Patti Minter, a history professor, and an amazing woman, said:
“I’m a longtime advocate of equal rights for all people and equal treatment for all,” Minter said. “I hope that the university will implement domestic partner benefits for same-sex couples in consideration with the attorney general’s opinion as UK, Northern Kentucky and the U of L have done. This is not something that is out of keeping with practice in Kentucky and at other universities here and other benchmark institutions in other states. Equal rights for all in no way detracts from the rights of others. If we do not have equal rights for all, then none of us are free.”
Contact Tony Glisson and let him know you disagree with the committee’s decision. Or call him at this number: 270-745-5360
Also, because it is always great to hear from supporters, contact Dr. Minter here and let her know that you appreciate her vocal and enthusiastic support.
Lastly, if you’ve got time to spare, comment on the Daily News article expressing your support for domestic partner benefits. The Daily News requires you to register first, so put this last on the list if you’re short on time. Any public, vocal support helps!