This page contains news for the period February 01, 2001 through
February 06, 2001.
<< February 2001 >>
Friday, February 2, 2001
Student committee pushes for domestic
partner benefits at University of Kentucky
A story published today in the Kentucky Kernel, a campus newspaper at the University of
Kentucky, reports that a student government committee thinks the University should extend
health benefits to the partners of unmarried faculty members.
At its Wednesday night meeting, the Campus Affairs committee passed a resolution that
requests that the Board of Trustees "adopt and pass a policy that grants benefits to
all faculty members and their domestic partners, regardless of sexual orientation."
UK's policy now extends benefits to the spouses and children of faculty members.
The full Senate will vote next Wednesday whether to send the resolution on to the board.
Sen. Brian Roth, who co-sponsored the bill with Sen. Emily Rigdon, said the policy would
make sure UK does not miss out on a qualified professor.
If UK passes a policy that would give benefits to the unmarried partners of faculty
members, it would be a
positive step in erasing the state's backward image, he added.
"In order to get the best faculty, we can't be behind the times," he said.
He knows getting the board to make such a liberal move in a state known for conservative
politics will not be easy.
Still, he thinks it is UK's responsibility as an educational institution to take
Wednesday, January 31, 20001
Legal experts come to BYU to debate
domestic partnership proposals
A story published today by The Daily Universe, a campus paper at Brigham Young University,
reports that legal scholars and professionals from around the nation will meet at Brigham
Young University on Thursday through Saturday to discuss "family dissolution
principles" adopted last year by the American Law Institute. If adopted by
state legislatures or judges, the principles would extend the same legal protections at
the time a relationship ends, regardless of whether the couple is married or living in an
unmarried but committed family relationship.
Lynn Wardle, a BYU law professor and one of the organizers of the symposium, said that
because most law professors tend to be liberal in family law issues, the proposed model
laws have been well-received so far.
"One of the purposes of the conference is to allow people who have some questions
about this policy to raise these questions in a very credible fashion," Wardle said.
"Rather profound changes are being proposed," he said.
In the past, only people who were legally married received the financial, custodial and
property rights afforded to married couples, Wardle said. The model laws urge that all
domestic partnerships enjoy the same legal status, he said.
If the model laws were accepted by the states, all functional parents, including same-sex
partnerships, would be
allowed to claim custody of children, he said.
In more liberal states like California, the model laws might be incorporated into
statutory law by the state legislature, Wardle said.
But here in Utah, "the more radical provisions would probably be rejected, if not the
whole thing," he said.
However, the model laws could still become law "through the back door" in Utah
if judges incorporate the ideals from the model laws into their opinions, creating common
law, he said.
The draft of a written presentation submitted by Coleman for
publication in an upcoming issue of the BYU law review, can be accessed by clicking here.