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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (May 1, 2000)
Students, faculty step up fight
for domestic partner benefits
news analysis by Dane Stickney
In the past year, one of the most
talked-about human rights issues was
domestic partner benefits.
The Association of Students of the
University of Nebraska passed a bill
Feb. 23 supporting domestic partner
The Academic Senate for the third
time showed its support April 4.
Thursday, it came to light that UNL
was working toward implementing a
student health care service that would
provide domestic partner benefits to
The term domestic partner benefits
is not totally clear, and that has caused
The term, as it has applied to situa
tions at the University of Nebraska
Lincoln, deals with benefits including
Currently, the NU system offers
benefits to employees and their spous
es. If domestic partner benefits were
put into effect, unwed partners of UNL
faculty and staff would also receive
Because no state in the United
States recognizes gay marriages,
domestic partner benefits are the only
way partners of gay faculty could
The situation gets blurred because
heterosexual couples who live together
but aren’t married could receive
domestic partner benefits, too.
Those opposed to domestic partner
benefits have said providing benefits to
unwed partners would invalidate mar
But without the benefits, gay facul
ty members, like George Wolf, are out
in the cold because they couldn’t get
married in this country if they wanted
Wolf, an English professor, has
been pushing for domestic partner ben
efits for years.
Wolf said the issue is telling of a
university’s commitment to diversity.
_ Lydia Gonzales/DN
GEORGE WOLF, English professor, has been a leader in the fight for domestic partner benefits. “If I were on the mar
ket for a job, as a gay man, there is no question that domestic rights are too big a financial matter to ignore,” he said.
“If I were on the market for a job, as
a gay man, there is no question that
domestic rights are too big a financial
matter to ignore,” he said. “If I were a
straight professor, I would also look at
domestic partner rights to see just how
committed the university is to creating
a diverse setting.
“They don’t have to provide any
domestic partner rights, but if they do, it
shows they are willing to go above and
beyond what is asked of them to make
their employees happy.”
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activity surrounding domestic partner
benefits, the history of the relationship
between UNL and the NU system must
In August 1998, after getting strong
support from the Academic Senate,
representatives from UNL took a plan
calling for domestic partner benefits to
the University-wide Benefits
The language in the bill was con
fusing because it did not specify
whether the plan would provide bene
fits for both gay and heterosexual cou
Agnes Adams, chairwoman of the
committee and a supporter of domestic
partner benefits, said committee mem
Please see BENEFITS on 4
Don't drive home % |L;
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this summer just to *^>vs
see a doctor - visit the
You are eligible to use the University
Health Center at reduced rates if you
elect to pay the Health Center fee
and you: 1) are taking three or fewer
credit hours; or 2) were registered
for the Spring 2000 semester and are
registered for the Fall 2000 semester;
or 3) were a May 2000 graduate.
Rates are higher if you do not pay
the Health Center fee.
If you are enrolled for four or more
summer credits in any session (except
Pre-Session), you are automatically
billed for the student Health Center
Do you need help determining
the best health care option for you?
Please call our Business Office at
(402) 472-7435 for assistance.
7:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Mon. - Fri.
10 a.m. -12 p.m., Sat & holiday
Call 472-5000 for appointments
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