Domestic Partnership Benefits at Risk

In a neat bit of investigative work, Bil Browning discovered that SJR-7 author Brandt Hershman’s statements about the bill not affecting domestic partnership benefits for Purdue and Indiana University faculty members is not only false, but that he wrote the bill specifically to target those rights.
Bill uncovered legislation by Hershman to repeal those rights that had been killed several ago in the legislature – exposing Hershmans’s true intent. Read more about that here…
Now this won’t just mean that the faculty members who enjoy domestic partnership benefits will lose them if SJR-7 passes. It will mean that Purdue, IU, Ball State and other universities won’t be able to attract quality faculty members in the future, which will have a devastating effect on the quality of education in Indiana. The state of Wisconsin can testify to that:

This summer, Wisconsin lost a good deal of its edge in the nanotech revolution thanks to the Legislature’s refusal to provide domestic partner benefits to university employees. That refusal, plus the Legislature’s push to ban gay marriage, has prompted a leading nanotech researcher, Robert Carpick, an associate engineering physics professor, to leave the University of Wisconsin- Madison for a job at the University of Pennsylvania.

And if that, along with Michigan’s recent repeal of benefits for university employees doesn’t properly scare the crap out of Purdue and Indiana University, what’s going on in Kentucky right now should. A bill to strip universities of those rights in that state is moving through their state legislature, with some pretty serious affects:

Last year, during the debate over bills designed to improve Kentucky’s lagging math and science scores, it came up that the higher educational institutions in the state of Kentucky graduated only one qualified physics teacher last year. One.

Kentucky’s ability to attract qualified faculty to their sagging universities will die off as well, and the already poor quality of education that can’t even produce physics teachers now will deteriorate further.

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