Big Daddy Weaver wrote:I know President Underwood to be a man of conviction. He displayed his conviction while interim president at Baylor and is doing the same at Mercer University.
I'm sure he would reject the implication that he has been somehow pressured into taking this position. In light of Underwood's comments in the EthicsDaily column that this is "consistent with our policy of not discriminating" and is "the right thing to do," to suggest that he made this move due to pressure or, to quote Ed, "being in a bind," would imply that Underwood is being dishonest.
Underwood has always been regarded as an honest administrator. If he says this policy of domestic partner benefits is "the right thing to do," I think we can take him at his word that he sincerely believes that it is indeed "the right thing to do."
Kudos to Underwood for doing the right thing and enacting a policy consistent with Mercer's commitment to nondiscrimination and promotes fairness as well. If a school doesn't prohibit gays from employment and doesn't prohibit gay students from enrolling, they shouldn't punish those students and employees with their benefits offerings.
Ed: Aaron, I share your high esteem Bill Underwood. I have been very impressed with the man in on the four occasions that I have had the opportunity to hear him speak and in the three very brief conversations that we have had. I in no way have suggested that he has in this situation or for that matter in any situation, done any thing that is contrary to his personal belief. And when I spoke of Mercer being in a bind I was speaking of the impossibility of any institution with as broad of constituency base as Mercer University has, to satisfy everyone on every issue.
And I will agree with you that "If a school doesn't prohibit gays from employment... they shouldn't punish those ... employees with their benefits offerings." [/quote] Note I have omitted your references to students because I believe student s and employees being distinct groups need not be considered together in this issue. But then I see no good reason for a school to hire gays. On this you and I differ, so be it.