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Home » Birmingham, Headlines, UAB

UAB offers same-sex benefits

Submitted by on Friday, 13 November 20097 Comments
UAB offers same-sex benefits

It’s kind of old news, but the backlash isn’t quite so old.

It started with a quiet email from the UAB Alliance, a group of faculty and staff members who have been petitioning for same-sex partner benefits for UAB employees. After three years of work, UAB finally granted partner benefits to gay and lesbian couples.

In fact, a group of students made a short ethnographic film about the struggle to obtain partner benefits.

One Closed Door After Another

Information very slowly trickled out that UAB was now offering partner benefits. It was almost a month before the Birmingham News picked up the story -
http://blog.al.com/businessnews/2009/10/uab_offers_health_coverage_to.html

And that’s when this became interesting.

Not wanting to see our state progress, State Rep. DuWayne Bridges asked UAB to rescind the decision to offer benefits to gays and lesbians.

http://blog.al.com/live/2009/10/legislator_says_hell_fight_uab.html

And now, Gubernatorial candidate Tim James is adding his two cents supporting State Rep. DuWayne Bridges.

http://blog.al.com/birmingham-news-stories/2009/11/uabs_same-sex_benefit_plan_dra.html

What’s really intriguing is the quick mention that University of Alabama at Huntsville is following UAB’s lead..

I’m a fan of the paragraph at the bottom of the article:

According to the nonpro­fit organization Human Rights Campaign, 74 of the 130 universities on the U.S. News & World Report list of top schools offer domestic partner benefits. A survey by the nonprofit Human Rights Campaign found that 83 percent of Fortune 100 com­panies offer same-sex part­ner or domestic partner benefits.

Not too shabby, UAB. Again, I’m proud to be a Blazer!

What are your thoughts? Are adding domestic partner benefits  a good thing? Is this the end of society as we know it? Share them in the comments!

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7 Comments »

  • Jessica says:

    I think it’s about damn time.

    Also, I saw a statistic earlier about UAB’s new benefits…170 people had taken advantage of the benefits at a cost of $10,000 per person = $170,000.

    However, when a researcher decides not to come to UAB (as is the case with the recent researcher who left UAB for Massachusetts, who had DP benefits), it costs UAB $500,000. So UAB was losing $2-$4 mil every year due to this.

    Not only is it the smart, equal, progressive, RIGHT thing to do – it also saves the state money in the long run.

    Basically Rep. Bridges is saying, “We’ll only fund state organizations that discriminate”…and that’s depressing! He is, of course, from Lee/Russell County and AU doesn’t offer DP benefits…so where would all that money go to that didn’t go to UAB?

  • adamblak says:

    Even if you’re not for same-sex marriage, UAB has to extend the benefits needed to stay ahead of the curve in recruiting talent. We are already WAY too much in danger of falling behind because of loss of state support in funding and our weak local support in name recognition and financial support (wearing UAB gear, buying UAB tickets, etc…).

    There was one comment that a reader made on the AL.com website that I do find interesting: Should UAB extend these benefits to other non-traditional or even non-sexual households? What if you’re an adult caring for a family member? How does UAB treat same-sex non-married couples? The moral side and the recruiting side of this can be debated.

    Personally, I think UAB needs to provide full household benefits to all professors, regardless of household situation. It’s only fair, and it will help recruit certain professors with unique situations.

  • jmeier says:

    I find it difficult to believe that this is an issue worth arguing.

    That said… one of the deciding factors in my accepting a job at UAB was the inclusion of Sexual Orientation in UAB’s non-discrimination clause. Had it not been there, I would be working at another school right now.

    By the way, the Undergraduate Student Government Association will be adding Gender Identity to its non-discrimination clause.

  • Spencer says:

    Jason I am very glad you work at UAB and are a brother of mine and I respect you a whole lot.

    I don’t think this is right at all. This is just one step backwards. Marriage is between a Man and a Woman. God wanted it that way and I think we need to keep it that way. It’s what I think as a christian is the morally RIGHT THING TO DO.

    But then again this is my opinion. Hope i didn’t offend anyone and if i did I am sorry. Wasn’t meant that way.

  • Jason Meier says:

    Spencer, answer this question: What does your Christianity have to do with my personal rights and liberties?

  • Spencer says:

    It just has to do with I was raised. I am sorry if i made you mad or anything like that I really wasn’t trying to. Sorry Jason

  • jmeier says:

    Why apologize, Spencer?
    Just give me a good, solid argument based on fact and not emotion. What does your Christianity have to do with denying anyone their basic rights and civil liberties?

    If you don’t have a more rational argument, why support denying insurance benefits?




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