The most recent meeting of the President’s Commission
on LGBT Concerns took place Nov. 19 in 400 Administration, and chair
Kathy McKee led off with a review of the commission’s work
to extend Emory’s new long-term care insurance benefit to
same-sex domestic partners of employees.
The benefit originally was not offered to domestic partners, but
after the commission sent a letter to President Bill Chace, Vice
President for Human Resources Alice Miller and others asking that
its concerns be heard, McKee was invited to a conference call between
Emory and UnumProvident, the program provider.
McKee told the commission that Unum said extending such a policy
to same-sex domestic partners in Georgia was illegal, but that exceptions
could be granted. Under that exception, the benefit was extended
to same-sex domestic partners of Emory employees. Sign-ups will
continue through December.
“Our mission was to get the benefits for our folks,”
In other business, committee chairs were selected, and McKee asked
each to set up meetings with their committees. The new chairs are:
Maria Carrión (essay), Jeff Martin (LGBT studies), Catherine
Shiel (nominating/membership and outreach), Cathi Wentworth (policies
and procedures) and Danielle Doughman (pride banquet).
Wentworth, an Oxford employee, asked the commission whether it was
necessary for there to be an Oxford LGBT committee or simply a liaison
between the commission and the college. She said a group of eight
to 10 people currently deals with LGBT issues at Oxford and that
another committee may be redundant.
Commission members agreed. A motion passed stating that an Oxford
committee was not necessary as long as there was a member of the
Oxford community on the commission.
That person could serve as liaison; Wentworth volunteered to fill
the position. A change to the commission bylaws ensuring an Oxford
position on the commission will be looked into.
Student representative Nathan Woodling asked the commission for
a letter of support for making information on harassment of LGBT
individuals a part of freshman orientation.
Currently, Woodling said, some orientation leaders, resident assistants
and residence hall directors discuss the subject, but not all.
Commission members agreed the issue is important and suggested the
best approach would be to focus on education in residence halls
rather than during orientation. They suggested approaching other
campus offices, including multicultural programs, equal opportunity
programs, student activities and Greek life, for support.
The next LGBT meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 14, at Oxford College.
you have a question or comment for LGBT, send e-mail to chair Kathy