GLOBES, an organization that has served UGA’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender faculty, staff and graduate students for 18 years, is focusing its efforts this year on domestic partnership benefits, said Ricky Roberts, chairwoman of the group’s executive committee and an academic adviser for the Honors Program.
The group is asking that domestic partners of gay or lesbian faculty and staff get access to the same benefits—specifically for health insurance—as the spouses of university employees.
In 2002, the University Council recommended such benefits be brought up for discussion before the University System of Georgia Board of Regents. Ten years later, GLOBES is still working for that discussion to occur.
There was some momentum beyond UGA to bring domestic partnership benefits up for discussion.
In February, the USG’s Faculty Council passed a resolution that recommended “university system benefits be extended to domestic partners.”
In recent months, GLOBES has been asking the regents to discuss the topic. However, Roberts received an email this month from USG’s vice chancellor for human resources, which said there was little the regents could do since the state no longer recognizes common-law marriages or domestic partners.
“UGA has done most of what it can do as a school to provide ‘soft’ benefits,” Roberts said. “However, GLOBES plans to ask the UGA administration to offer the same level of domestic partnership benefits that Georgia Tech and Georgia State offer, which include life, dental, vision and accidental death insurance.”
These benefits are funded by faculty and staff of those universities.
GLOBES will host a reception Sept. 6 at 5:30 p.m. with a silent auction in Founders Memorial Garden to kick off the second annual Athens Pride Weekend.