Domestic Partnerships May Get Health Benefits

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Under a new proposal, college and university employees in Nevada, could soon receive Domestic Partner Health Benefits.

But conservative groups are alarmed by the idea, saying it's no different than recognizing same-sex marriages, a concept Nevada voters have nixed in the past.

The thirteen member State Board of Regents is scheduled to meet tomorrow to discuss possible approval of the proposal.

Some feel the university leaders are attempting to change a controversial public policy...but others say, they're only looking for a solution to the shortage of staff on our college campuses.

Professors say University of Nevada, Reno has no shortage of students...just a shortage of people to teach them.

"We have a desperate need for space and a desperate need for instructors coming into the system," said Board of Regents member and art professor at UNR, Howard Rosenberg.

He says the domestic partnerships proposal is supposed to make college campuses in Nevada more alluring to people who can't afford to work here without medical benefits for themselves, and their partners.

"If two people are in a committed together in a living relationship, whether they be the same sex or opposite, they are still entitled to the same benefits as everyone else."

But some think the plan sounds like a covert way to allow same-sex couples to reap the benefits of marriage...even though Nevada voters have opposed it in the past. We asked several people on the streets of Sparks.

"It's wrong, they're not listening to what we have to say and what we voiced with our vote."

"I believe God made men and women to be together and there's always that perfect match."

"The only thing I would wonder about is how long the relationship would need to be to constitute, you know, just a weekly relationship or what? What would constitute a relationship?"

And Rosenberg adds, any relationship between two people living together would be entitled to benefits.

"And not just because of the sex...a lot of people are in a relationship but can't get married because of fiscal situations, or a divorce or something to do with their children or older people who would lose their social security if they are married."

The controversy is not just about is also at stake here. If the proposal goes through, every university employee...and their domestic partners will eligible for health insurance. At that point, twice as many people could be drawing from the benefit pool.