Should same-sex couples at UofM receive same benefits as married couples?

U of M votes on same-sex benefits for faculty

(WMC-TV) - The University of Memphis is taking a vote on whether to provide same-sex couples with the same benefits given to married faculty and staff.

University of Memphis Faculty Senate President Tom Banning said the vote was suggested by the Tennessee Board of Regents.

UT Knoxville's faculty senate approved a similar resolution last spring.

Banning said 23 out of the 25 top public universities in the country offer benefits to same-sex partners.

"That means we are competing against other institutions for quality research, teaching, faculty, and that's why this was all brought up," said Banning.

Much like Knoxville, Banning says the faculty senate vote in Memphis is symbolic only.

"It was evident when the material was brought up that it is public policy that there are no same-sex benefits through legislative, statutory, constitutional actions," explained Banning. "This resolution carries no suggestion that we're instituting anything at the University."

Banning says the University of Memphis now has something to build upon. The results from the vote will be forwarded to the Tennessee Board of Regents for review.

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