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Miami to defend domestic partner benefits

State Representative Thomas Brinkman Jr. Nov. 22 sued Miami alleging that Miami's domestic partner benefit program violates Article XV, Section 11 of the Ohio Constitution (the “Marriage Amendment”). The lawsuit asks the Butler County Court of Common Pleas to enjoin the university from continuing to provide domestic partnership benefits. Brinkman has two children at Miami.

In an e-mailed letter to staff and faculty Monday, President Jim Garland reassured the Miami community that the university has a compelling case for providing domestic partner benefits and said the lawsuit is without merit. “We are confident that our program, effective July 1, 2004, does not violate the Marriage Amendment. The official Explanation and Argument in Support of the Marriage Amendment filed with the amendment prior to its passage on Nov. 2, 2004, provides: 'Issue 1 does not interfere in any way with government benefits granted to persons in non-marital homosexual relationships, so long as the government does not grant those benefits to such persons specifically for the reason that the relationship is one that seeks to imitate marriage.'”

David Langdon, a lawyer representing Rep. Brinkman, is on record as saying the Marriage Amendment would not rescind domestic partner benefits offered by public universities and cities.

“The university will vigorously defend its domestic partner program at all judicial levels. Domestic partner benefits are a critical component of Miami's compensation program as we seek to recruit and retain talented faculty and staff members. We believe that others, including the other Ohio public universities that provide domestic partner benefits, will support Miami in its efforts,” added Garland.

Date Published: 12/01/2005
Volume: 25   Number: 17

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