[The Senate Equal Opportunity Committee met on Friday, November 10, 2000, to discuss the question of spousal benefits for partners of gay and lesbian employees of Rutgers University. As a result of its deliberations, the EOC recommends that the Senate adopt the following resolution.]

Resolution in Support of Full Health Benefits for Same-Sex Domestic Partners of Rutgers Employees and Retirees
As Approved by the University Senate on January 26, 2001

Whereas, Rutgers University pledges in its Non-Discrimination Policy to provide equal employment opportunities and benefits to all its employees, regardless of sexual orientation and marital status; and

Whereas, it has been more than two years since the Board of Governors endorsed the concept of health coverage to same-sex partners of Rutgers' employees; and

Whereas, 69 percent of the AAU member institutions and 74 percent of the top 50 institutions ranked by the US News and World Report College Rankings grant health benefits to same-sex partners of their employees; and

Whereas, there is reason to believe that Rutgers is placed at a distinct competitive disadvantage in recruiting top faculty by denying health benefits to same-sex partners of its employees; and

Whereas, the continued denial of full health benefits to domestic partners of employees has encouraged some of the University's most promising and productive young faculty to leave and accept employment where they are treated equally with all other employees; and

Whereas, strong and effective administrators have resigned their administrative posts and research faculty have returned research grants in protest of the continued discrimination by Rutgers; and

Whereas, continued discrimination by Rutgers and public disavowal of its own Non-Discrimination Policy portrays the University to the state and nation as uncaring with respect to Rutgers' proclaimed commitment to equality and diversity; and

Whereas, denial of health benefits to same-sex partners of Rutgers employees has resulted in unnecessary suffering and may have contributed to premature death;

Therefore, be it resolved that President Lawrence institute a plan without further delay to provide to same-sex domestic partners of Rutgers' employees a program of health, prescription, dental, and vision insurance that is equivalent in coverage to that provided to spouses; and

Be it further resolved that the Board of Governors should reaffirm the primacy of the University's Non-Discrimination Policy in all of its activities, and that President Lawrence publicly commit himself to its full implementation.

[Click here to read President Francis Lawrence's response.]

Equal Opportunity Committee
Wadia, Pheroze, NFAS (F), Chair
Andalia, Gisela, NCAS (S)
Busia, Abena, Livingston (F)
Harris, Sandra, GSAPP Dean (A) Administrative Liaison
Killingsworth, Mark, FAS-NB (F)
Krueckeberg, Donald, EJBSPP (F)
Lehman, Richard, Engineering (F)
Markowitz, Norman, Livingston (F)
Marsh, Margaret, CFAS Dean (A)
Redd, Jason, Rutgers (S)
Schlegel, James, UC-N (F)
Strom, Peter, GS-NB (F)