L G B T   C a m p u s   O r g a n i z i n g
their relationship, usually based on
versely, if a woman hasn t ever taken any
shared residency and financial interde 
responsibility for her lover s children, she
pendence, they pay a fee and they are
should not expect to receive parental
declared by their municipality as domes 
rights.  In this vein, domestic partners
tic partners. 
may be thought of as a benefit to the
state:  the responsibility for taking care of
Second, the term may describe a relation 
people is removed from the state  
ship or an alternative family structure that
instead they are provided for within a
is increasingly used by employers for
family structure.
determining employee benefits.  There
may or may not be a link between these
Employers, on the other hand, may offer
two definitions.  For example, Apple
benefits to domestic partners.  For some
Computer offers DP benefits to employ 
years, gay and lesbian people have been
ees without requiring a government doc 
demanding the same benefits that married
ument; the company has its own criteria
people get and increasing numbers of
and requires its own documentation.  Fur 
employers have granted such benefits,
ther, there is a difference between what
often in accordance with their nondis 
government can offer domestic partners
crimination policies in cases where these
and what employers can offer.
policies specify that the company (or the
institution) does not discriminate on the
basis of gender, marital status or sexual
Insofar as laws and benefit
systems in this country cen 
ter on one s marital status,
Because the workplace is where many
unmarried and partnered
Americans spend a majority of their day,
employees are being com 
it is considered an important frontier for
pensated less than married
organizing in support of lgbt equality,
employees, which is a direct
especially in light of recent political
form of discrimination based
developments, which suggest that legisla 
on marital status, sexual ori 
entation and gender.
tive solutions to anti lgbt discrimination
are a long way off.  Equality is more like 
ly to be achieved workplace by work 
Government may provide official recog 
place, community by community.
nition of an alternative family structure
  a structure in which the people
Campuses are an important part of this;
involved have formally agreed to take
the same explosion of organizing over the
responsibility for each other.  DP orga 
last five to ten years has led to the forma 
nizing is thus based on the belief that
tion of hundreds of campus organiza 
those who are willing to take responsibil 
tions.  The NGLTF data base contains
ity for each other should be entitled to the
information about 1200 such groups,
rights that come with those responsibili 
most of which are student organizations,
ties.  So, if a man takes responsibility for
but a growing number of which have
his male lover s medical expenses and
been established by faculty and staff.
they have joint finances, when one gets
Experience shows that the number one
sick and his insurance runs out, the oth 
issue for these faculty staff groups is
er s insurance should cover him.  Con 
domestic partner benefits
2 7 0
P r a c t i c a l   A p p l i c a t i o n s


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