The Republican establishment in Alabama is lining up to block the extension of health insurance benefits to domestic partners at public universities in the state. Like the Republican party health insurance policy covering abortions – or, actually, homosexuality itself – this kind of thing is common in real life until someone shines a light (or camera) on conservatives and demand that they denounce it. Then there’s a stampede.
Homosexuality has a remarkable ability to divide the public evenly. In the Gallup’s 2008 Values and Beliefs poll, 48% of respondents said “homosexual relations” are morally acceptable and 48% said they are morally wrong. And according to the Human Rights Campaign, 57% of top universities offer domestic partnership benefits. That makes the policymakers’ trade-off between proclaiming anti-gayness and wantonly squandering the opportunity to hire from among the best professionals a real opportunity to stand up for principle. Either way.