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Domestic Partnership News Archive
December 01 - December 05, 1999





This page contains news for the period Wednesday, December 01, 1999 through Sunday, December 05, 1999.





<<   December 1999  >>

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Friday, December 03, 1999

GTECH extends health benefits to domestic partners

A story released today by PR/Newswire reports that GTECH Holdings Corporation (NYSE: GTK) will extend healthcare benefits to the domestic partners of its U.S. employees, promoting diversity in the workplace.

Domestic partner healthcare benefits, which currently are offered by only nine percent (1) of private employers nationwide, will extend the Company's healthcare benefits to a GTECH employee's unmarried domestic partner of the same or opposite sex, as well as the dependent children of the domestic partner. The policy will extend to all eligible U.S. employees and will become effective January 1, 2000.

"Providing our employees with a diverse and inclusive workplace is one of our corporate objectives and this initiative supports that goal," said William Y. O'Connor, GTECH Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that, in an increasingly competitive employment market, this gives us an edge in attracting and retaining talented people."

GTECH Corporation is the world's leading supplier of computerized online lottery products and services, GTECH has contracts to supply and/or operate lottery systems to 82 customers, in 36 countries on six continents.


Thursday, December 02, 1999

Boeing union rejects company's contract offer

A story published today in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports that The Boeing Co.'s second-largest union resoundingly rejected the company's "best and final" contract offer, sending both sides back to the bargaining table.

More than 98 percent of the Society of Professional Engineering Employees in Aerospace union voted against the company's contract proposals.

Union officials said last night's vote represented one of the highest turnouts ever. Of the 12,639 ballots sent to union members, 10,530 were returned. As of yesterday, SPEEA had 13,148 dues-paying members.

Among the provisions rejected by the union was a company offer to give domestic partner benefits to same-sex couples only. Union negotiators have insisted that all unmarried couples, same and opposite-sex partners alike, should be eligible for the new program.

North Carolina taxpayers may proceed with lawsuit challenging domestic partner benefits

A story published today in the Advocate reports that a lawsuit challenging domestic-partnership policies in two North Carolina cities was allowed to go forward after a judge on Tuesday rejected efforts to stop it.

Twelve residents from Chapel Hill and Carrboro have challenged the policies that allow gay and straight municipal workers to have benefits for their partners. Judge James Davis rejected arguments from attorneys for the two towns, who claimed the taxpayers lacked legal standing to challenge the policies.

"I certainly don’t view this as a setback," Carrboro mayor Mike Nelson, who is gay, told the paper. "What we’re really talking about is how families are treated in our culture. And that’s a long-term battle. And I don’t think one case or one motion means a whole lot in the long term."


Wednesday, December 01, 1999

Domestic partners will get family discounts at Bally's gym

A story published today in the Sun-Sentinel reports that Bally's Total Fitness will begin offering family dicounts to dometic partners of members.   The discount was previously reserved for married spouses.

The change in policy was Inspired by the query of a Fort Lauderdale chiropractor.

Bally's Total Fitness gym announced on Wednesday it will extend spouse and family discounts if the member and a partner can show a domestic partner certificate issued by a government entity.

According to the story, the gym drew the ire of the gay community last month when Donna Watson, the chiropractor, tried to sign up her partner, Denise Carroll, under a special discount for members' spouses. Watson and Carroll had registered as domestic partners under the 11-month-old county law, which gives them jail and hospital visitations as well as the right to make medical decisions for each other.

But when Watson tried to buy a discounted membership for Carroll's birthday, she says, a midlevel manager told her the gym would not honor her domestic partnership certificate. She later found out Bally's gives discounts to domestic partners in Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Manhattan.

On Wednesday, Bally's spokesman Dave Southern said the company would extend that policy to its 360 facilities nationwide. And they will throw in a free membership for Watson's trouble.

"It seems to me the best policy was to honor domestic partner certificates when they are issued by a responsible government," Southern said from company headquarters in Chicago.

Latvian bureaucracies oppose official registry for same-sex couples

A story published today in the Advocate reports that several Latvian ministries have objected to the idea of allowing gays and lesbians to register their relationships. The information was obtained from the Baltic News Service.

The objections focus on a bill pending in Parliament that would allow for a domestic-partner registry for gay couples. The welfare, education, and interior ministries have all objected to the measure. "Upon improving Latvia’s legislation in line with experience of Europe’s democratic countries, the traditional historic view of each nation and each country about the family, marriage, and objectives of these values is highly important," the welfare ministry said.


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