The following letter was sent to Representative B. Patrick Bauer, Speaker Indiana House of Representatives, by Richard Schneirov, President of The Indiana Conference of the American Association of University Professors, regarding Senate Joint Resolution 7 (definition of marriage act).:
Dear Speaker Bauer,
A recent Michigan Court of Appeals decision bans school districts and state universities from providing health insurance and other benefits and protections, such as the one against spousal rape, to same-sex domestic partners. Many universities throughout our state provide such domestic partner benefits, including Ball State University, Indiana University, Indiana State University, and Purdue University.
Due to the similarity of Michigan's constitutional amendment with the one being currently considered by the Indiana General Assembly, we believe that SJR7 has the strong potential to disrupt or prohibit the availability of domestic partner benefits for state-supported institutions of higher education. We believe it would be against the best interests of the state to restrict the ability of our institutions of higher education to attract the best faculty members available.
As a result of similar concerns, The Indianapolis Star, Evansville Courier and Press, Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, and South Bend Tribune have already editorialized against the amendment as now written.
This past fall, as you may remember, The State Conference of the American Association of University Professors was pleased to have you as a luncheon speaker. We represent faculty at faculty at IU-Bloomington, IUPUI, Ball State University, Indiana State University, Vincennes University, IU-North, IU-South Bend, University of Indianapolis, and Hanover College. We respectfully recommend that the language in this resolution be rewritten to head off an interpretation that might threaten benefits and protections provided university faculty and staff.