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From the Edge: Editorial

 by Megan Irwin  published on Thursday, September 15, 2005

Irwin/issues/arts/693828
Irwin
 

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Lately I've been thinking a lot about marriage. A girl I was close with in high school just tied the knot. The last man I dated talked about it often enough to make me a little uncomfortable. He didn't want to marry me specifically, but he was getting to that stage of life where one starts to think about nesting.

I have to admit, the thought is a little comforting. All the things that used to make me gag about marriage now sound kind of sweet. Of course, I'm still not ready. There's so much I want to do before I even commit to a real job, let alone a family. But when I do decide to settle down and get that real job, it's nice to know that if I want a family I'll be able to provide for them in every way.

If my imaginary future husband wants to stay home with the kids (hey, I'm just that kind of woman) I'll be able to provide him and my imaginary children with health benefits.

Unless we change the scenario a little and turn this pretend husband of mine into a cute little wife. Then my idyllic future becomes significantly complicated. While many companies and institutions are becoming more progressive, same-sex couples continue to face discrimination in the workplace when it comes to providing health insurance and other benefits to domestic partners. ASU is one such institution struggling with this issue. Most other schools in the Pac-10 offer at least tuition waivers to the children of same-sex couples. Other colleges and universities, including Maricopa County colleges, offer full health benefits to the partners of their gay faculty and staff.

So what does this mean for ASU? First off, it means we're losing lots of talented staff to other institutions that are willing to accommodate their very basic needs. Second, it means we ought to be taking a very serious look at why our university fails to provide benefits.

If we want to truly call ourselves a "New American University," we're going to have to start providing for the new American family.


Megan Irwin is the Editor-in-Chief of SPM reach her at megan.irwin@asu.edu.



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