U of M faculty vote in support of same-sex marriage benefits - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

U of M faculty vote in support of same-sex marriage benefits

(WMC-TV) - The University of Memphis faculty came out in support of same-sex marriage benefits, in an historic vote.

The vote took place at the University Center, Tuesday afternoon. The faculty vote in Memphis aligns with the same vote at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville.

"The resolution is in support of same sex benefits to try to get a change," said Tom Banning, the President of the University of Memphis Faculty Senate.

The faculty Senate at the University of Memphis voted in the senate chambers in support of benefits for same sex partnerships. The same benefits given to married faculty and staff. The motion passed 33 to nothing.

"That indicated the faculty senate members when polling their departments got a majority of those that they spoke with approval to go forward developing a resolution," Banning said.

The vote came after the faculty at U.T. Knoxville faculty senate voted last spring in favor of a resolution to support same sex benefits. But it was rejected by the chancellor.

The vote doesn't mean same sex benefits are on the way at the universities. But it is a way to put the pressure on.

Tom Banning, the president of the 44 member faculty Senate at the U of M, used to work for FedEx where same sex benefits are offered to employees. He said the top public universities in the U.S. offer some form of same sex benefits. And he believes it is a way to attract top people.

"It is just my belief and the faculty here their belief that benefits like this attract more people here," Banning said.

The state of Tennessee does not recognize the protections opposite sex couple's have for same sex couples. And it is that policy the chancellors at UT Knoxville and the agriculture chancellor decided to follow. But the people pushing for same sex benefits say they are not giving up.

Copyright 2012 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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