The University of Alabama at Birmingham will extend health insurance coverage to the domestic partners of employees starting Jan 1.
However, some state legislators hope to prevent the university to allow additional domestic partnership benefits.
Rep. DuWayne Bridges of Alabama says the university shouldn’t “waste money by making a liberal or politically correct statement.” Bridges wants to ban the use of tax money for domestic partner benefits in a yet-to-be drafted bill, according to The Birmingham News. He also calls the domestic partner benefits “a misuse of taxpayers’ dollars,” and he says the plan violates the state’s constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, which was passed in 2006.
The University of Alabama at Huntsville already offers domestic-partnership benefits, but the University of Alabama at Birmingham is a part of the “big three” Alabama universities not offering benefits. The other two universities are the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa and Auburn University.
Dale Turnbough, a spokesman for the University of Alabama at Birmingham, told Advocate.com the university needs to offer these benefits to remain competitive in its top talent like its medical school and to “create a positive, supportive and diverse work environment in which faculty and staff can excel.”
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— Kim Brown