The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA

3360.0: Monday, November 17, 2003 - Board 2

Abstract #61710

Coalition Building For Same-Sex Domestic Partnership Benefits in the Workplace

Rob Fredericksen, MPH, Department of International Health, Boston University School of Public Health, 715 Albany St. T4W, Boston, MA 02118, 617-638-4611,, Eric D. Helmuth, MA, Join Together, Boston University School of Public Health, One Appleton Street, Boston, MA 02116, and Anara Guard, MLS, Director of Information and Marketing, Join Together, Boston U SPH, One Appleton Street, Boston, MA 02116.

A growing number of U.S. corporations and institutions provide health benefits for same-sex domestic partners of their employees (Human Rights Campaign, 2003). However, such benefits remain far from ‘standard practice’. Lack of such workplace benefits places those in same-sex partnerships at considerable risk for financial hardship or ruin in the event of partner illness. The high expense of U.S. health care leads to avoidance of treatment for health problems and prohibits access to routine preventive care. Those employed in education and social services, fields characterized by modest earnings, are particularly vulnerable to such hardships.

The quest for same-sex domestic partnership benefits begins in the workplace. Historically, such requests have been met with varying levels of response, ranging from quick policy revision, to covert resistance (i.e., “foot dragging”), to outright refusal. This paper/session focuses on the lessons learned by employee coalitions pursuing same-sex domestic partnership benefits at four U.S. universities, particularly in the areas of coalition development, planned activity, and response. Participants will learn the steps necessary toward developing a comprehensive coalition-building strategy, as well as planning action and response, in pursuit of domestic partnership benefits within resistant workplaces.

Learning Objectives:

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Gay

Related Web page:

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

Topics in LGBT Health - III

The 131st Annual Meeting (November 15-19, 2003) of APHA