Domestic Partner Benefits are a Question of Equity and Fairness
There are many good reasons why we continue to pursue domestic partner benefits
for Arizona state employees. For one, it will put us in the category of socially
advanced entities that have recognized the importance and fairness of providing
domestic partner benefits to its employees.
- All PAC-10 universities, except ASU and UA, offer domestic partner benefits.
- Of the 38 research universities that rank ahead of the UA in annual funding by the
National Institutes of Health, 31 offer domestic partner benefits
- At least 13 of Arizona's top 20 employers (65%) offer domestic partner benefits,
including Honeywell, Banner Health Systems, Raytheon, Intel, Wells Fargo, Target,
Qwest, American Express, Bank One, Bank of America, Motorola, Home Depot and Walgreen's.
Other major companies in Arizona that offer domestic partner benefits include Hilton Hotels,
Sears, Marriott International, Morgan Stanley, IBM, Gannett, UPS, Costco Wholesale, Cox Communications,
Medtronic, Texas Instruments, and Intuit.
- In Arizona, domestic partner benefits are offered by Pima County and the cities of Tucson,
Phoenix, Scottsdale and Tempe.
- Offering domestic partner benefits nationwide are: 8,286 organizations, 241 Fortune 500
companies, 7,607 private sector companies, 129 city and county governments, and 295 colleges
(HRC, accessed July 20, 2005)
- Eleven states offer domestic partner benefits: California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa,
New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.
Massachusetts is the only state that offers marriage licenses to same-sex couples; whereas
Vermont and Connecticut recognize civil unions between same-sex couples.
Reasons to support Domestic Partner Benefits
- Faculty and staff recruitment and retention. Offering competitive and inclusive benefits
helps attract the most qualified candidates. Offering domestic partner benefits have become
the hallmark of progressive organizations that value diversity. In addition, turnover is bad
for any business-private or non-profit. Some studies have put the cost of recruiting a new
employee as high as $75,000 (Zbar, Jeffery D., "Dealing with the labor squeeze," Credit Card Management,
New York, November 1998).
- Costs are negligible. Several studies in academic institutions offering domestic partner
benefits have shown that only about 1 to 2 percent of eligible employees sign up, raising
the costs by about 1 to 2 percent.
- Social and economic justice. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, one-fifth of male same-sex
households and one-third of female same-sex households were raising children. Estimates of
children living in same-sex households range between six and 10 million. No percentage of these
children should be without access to health insurance.
- General public opinion supports equity and fairness. A statewide survey in 2004 found
Arizonans oppose same-sex marriage by a 3-2 ratio. However, the same poll showed 56 percent of
those asked supports equal treatment and some legal recognition of same-sex couples.
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