Alabama Lawmaker Wants to Cut Off Domestic Partner Benefits
Saying the University of Alabama Birmingham's policy of offering health benefits to same-sx partners runs counter to the state's ban on same-sex marriage, state lawmaker DuWayne Bridges has been gathering support for a proposal to block the benefits, the Birmingham News reports:
"Rep. DuWayne Bridges, R-Valley, said support is building among Republicans for a bill that would prohibit the use of tax dollars for domestic partner benefits. 'I don't think the university should waste money by making a liberal or politically correct statement,' he said Thursday. The bill would be aimed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, which last month began allowing employees to enroll domestic partners of either sex in its health insurance plan, with benefits beginning Jan. 1. UAB officials have said they need to offer domestic partner benefits so their medical school can compete with other top schools, which routinely do so."
Openly gay state rep. Patricia Todd spoke out against the Bridges plan: "We don't know how many gay, lesbian and transgender people there are in the country or even in Alabama, but we know that we're present and we make a contribution and we're not asking for any more or less than any other group of folks. We just want equality. Like it or not, Rep. Bridges, the world is changing and people are accepting more diversity."