ACLU Applauds Decision of Two PA Universities to Offer Domestic Partnership Benefits to Lesbian and Gay Employees

February 14, 2003 12:00 am

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PHILADELPHIAThe American Civil Liberties Union today praised Temple and Drexel Universities for deciding to provide domestic partnership benefits to their lesbian and gay employees and urged other employers to follow their leadership.

“Thanks to Temple and Drexel Universities, this will truly be a happy Valentine’s Day for many same-sex couples,” said Larry Frankel, Legislative Director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania. “The ACLU congratulates these schools for deciding to treat their gay and lesbian employees equally.”

“We hope that everyone will respect this move to do what is fair for workers and what is critical for attracting and retaining many highly skilled and motivated workers,” Frankel added. “The ACLU expects that business and community leaders as well as fair-minded legislators and Governor Rendell will support these schools for doing the right thing.”

In Pennsylvania, the ACLU has been extensively involved in efforts to obtain domestic partnership benefits for lesbians and gay men. The ACLU participated in the effort that led to the enactment of domestic partnership laws in Philadelphia and is helping to defend those laws in a case that is currently before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

The ACLU is also battling the University of Pittsburgh in an ongoing lawsuit aimed at securing domestic partnership benefits for that school’s employees. Reacting to the news regarding Temple and Drexel Universities, Witold “Vic” Walczak, Legal Director for the ACLU’s Greater Pittsburgh Chapter said: “The ACLU hopes the decision by these fine universities will motivate the University of Pittsburgh and other schools in the state to follow suit. Temple and Drexel have joined more than a hundred prestigious schools across the country in recognizing that in order to attract the top professors and remain competitive in the academic world, they must treat all employees equally.”

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