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University Dean Quits Over Same-sex Benefits


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University Dean Quits Over Same-sex Benefits

by 365Gay.com Newscenter Staff

Posted: June 15, 2005 12:01 am ET

(Madison, Wisconsin) When Wisconsin lawmakers last month voted against providing domestic partner benefits to University of Wisconsin System employees it was the final straw for University of Wisconsin-Madison dean of students Luoluo Hong.

This week Hong announced she was leaving the university.

"When I came here three years ago, Wisconsin was on the cutting edge of civil rights for lesbians, bisexuals and trans-genders," Hong, who is straight, told the Journal Sentinel. "That legacy has not been my experience."

Hong who is married and does not need domestic partner benefits has accepted a job as a dean of student affairs at Arizona State.

She said that the lack of benefits in the Wisconsin university system has cost it good job candidates.

"I've had job candidates interested in domestic partner benefits, but when they find out they're not available they say no," Hong told the paper. "I have colleagues who have started looking for new jobs. It's very demoralizing for them."

Last month the Legislature's budget committee voted against providing the partner benefits, rejecting arguments from school officials that they are a needed recruitment and retention tool. (story)

Across the country 289 colleges and universities offer health benefits to domestic partners. UW-Madison is the only Big Ten university that doesn't provide health care to domestic partners.

Hong also criticized the state for fighting a suit brought by gay and lesbian state workers who claim denying them partner benefits is unconstitutional. (story)

In a brief to the court Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager said there are no guarantees to same-sex couples in the Wisconsin state Constitution.

©365Gay.com 2005


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