A   C o m p r e h e n s i v e   M a n u a l
More Background: DP in Context
employees, which is a direct form of dis 
of the LGBT Movement
crimination based on marital status, sexu 
al orientation and gender.
The American family is becoming
increasing complex and diverse.  Accord 
Recently, a number of municipalities and
ing to the 1990 census, only 10.2% of the
private employers, including some 30
nation s 95 million households fit the
colleges and universities, have recog 
"traditional" definition of family   2
nized that reliance on marriage as a pre 
parents living with their children.  By
condition for benefits excludes many
contrast, in 1970, this figure was 40%.  In
employees  families   and have taken
reality, American households can be
action to remedy this inequity through
comprised of one parent, two working
offering legislation and policies that
parents, a step parent or parents, foster
champion the notion of "domestic part 
families, extended families, unmarried
couples living together with children
from other relationships and with chil 
Definition of DP
dren in common, same gender couples
with and without children, and single per 
The term "domestic partner "is generally
son households.  And yet, benefit struc 
defined as:  two people who share a pri 
tures at most companies and on most col 
mary residence, are financially and emo 
lege and university campuses continue to
tionally interdependent, and have an inti 
operate as though the lives of most of
mate relationship including a commit 
their employees fit the "traditional" mold.
ment to caring for each other s needs.  In
Currently "fringe" benefits can account
some jurisdictions and workplaces,
for up to 1/3 of employment compensa 
despite the lack of state or federal guar 
tion and the institution of marriage deter 
antees, employees who meet this defini 
mines which workers and which citizens
tion may obtain a variety of benefits,
are accorded what level of compensation.  
health insurance;
Where colleges and universi 
pension plan benefits;
ties were once the vanguard
force in movements for
survivors  benefits;
equality and social change,
we now witness many of
family leave policies for bereavement,
those institutions slowly fol 
illness, child care, "paternity;" part 
lowing the lead of their local
time policies for child rearing or care
jurisdictions and corporate
of elderly parents;
America in changing policies
that discriminate against
non traditional families.
retirement benefits;
Insofar as laws and benefit systems in this
company parties and retreats;
country center on one s marital status,
unmarried and partnered employees are
life insurance;
being compensated less than married
D P   H e a l t h   B e n e f i t s     M     2 7 1


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