Faculty Senate Calls For Domestic Partner Benefits

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University of Idaho President Duane Nellis has turned to his legal department to consider a proposal from the U of I Faculty Senate to provide domestic partner benefits.

The Faculty Senate tried to extend benefits to domestic partners in 2010, proposing that job-placement assistance be afforded to gay and lesbian partners in addition to spouses, but Nellis rejected that plan.

"[Nellis] did the wrong thing last time," said Kathy Aiken, dean of the university's College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences. "And we're asking him this time to do the right thing."

The State of Idaho currently doesn't formally recognize gay marriage or domestic partnerships, leaving it up to the discretion of the university on how to grant benefits.