You can help bring equal rights to Rice.

Sign the petition for extending to same-sex partners the benefits now extended to married partners of employees.

Consider the University's official non-discrimination policy.


It is the policy of Rice University to attract qualified individuals of diverse backgrounds to its faculty, staff, and student body. Accordingly, Rice University does not discriminate against any individual on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, or veteran status in its admissions, its educational programs, or employment of faculty or staff.


Then why does Rice still discriminate against lesbians and gay men by giving them
fewer employment benefits than are available to everyone else?


Q: Why is it discrimination not to give benefits to same-sex domestic partners?
A: Not discriminating in employment means compensating employees equally for the same work. Salary and benefits make up compensation. When one group is excluded from an important benefits like health insurance, they aren't being compensated equally for their work. That is discrimination.
Q: Will it cost a lot more?
A: No. Studies show that the costs are negligible.
Q: Won't everyone try to take advantage of it?
A: No. Other universities (even those larger than Rice) have had only between 12 and 30 people apply for such benefits.

What do the faculty and staff think about same-sex domestic partnership benefits?

A: Faculty Council passed a unanimous resolution in May 1997 calling for SSDP benefits beginning no later than the 1998-9 fiscal year. The staff advisory council sent a letter to President Gillis in September 1999 calling for SSDP benefits. (The undergraduate Student Association's Executive Committee also passed a resolution calling for SSDP benefits for faculty and staff in November 1999.)

Is anyone at Rice able to buy health insurance for same-sex domestic partners?


Yes. Undergraduates and graduate students can now purchase health insurance for their domestic partners. Currently, faculty and staff cannot.


Why should students care about same-sex domestic partnership benefits for faculty and staff?


Rice has suffered in recruiting and retaining talented faculty, staff and students because we do not offer domestic partnership benefits.


Of the "National Universities" which US News and World Report ranks in the top 20, only two do not currently offer same-sex domestic partnership benefits to their faculty and staff: Rice and Notre Dame. The remaining eighteen elite institutions do provide SSDP:






Washington U



Johns Hopkins











Can Rice afford to be left behind, with antiquated policies, at the dawn of the 21st century?

Signing the petition is no longer needed. Rice extended benefits on 07/01/2000.

For additional information about domestic partnership benefits, visit these sites:

For more information about the campaign for equal benefits at Rice, please contact the chair of the Ad Hoc Committee for Domestic Partnership Benefits, Dr. Lynne Huffer, at If you have comments or suggestions for this site, please contact webmaster Dean Lane at .

Page last modified December 1999.