As with other civil rights issues, legality doesn’t guarantee fair treatment. The Supreme Court’s recent decision to legalize same-sex marriage in all 50 states has clearly not solved all problems of discrimination against gay couples and their families. Grand Canyon University, a Christian institution in Phoenix, has pitted itself against Arizona’s ACLU relative to this issue.
Although the university states that it is “committed to providing equal opportunity employment and prohibits unlawful discrimination based on race, color, ancestry, religion, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, family care status, marital status, national origin, age, veteran status, handicap status, mental or physical disability or medical condition, genetic information or any other characteristic protected by law,” it has routinely discriminated against legally wed same-sex employees and their families by refusing to provide benefits for their spouses. Apparently the declaration that the school will not discriminate in hiring does not extend to how it will treat its employees once they are on the payroll.
It is noteworthy that Grand Canyon University, although a “Christian” institution, does not perceive any irony in its patent disregard of the integral “do unto others” portion of Christian theology. While the ACLU legal director has confronted the president of the University on behalf of employees in same-sex marriages who have been denied spousal health insurance and other benefits, the University maintains its position and may continue to deny such benefits until forced to do so by a court of law.
According to the president of the university, Brian Mueller, Grand Canyon University’s “commitment to Biblical principles” is strong and the institution is presently reviewing its policies in light of the recent Supreme Court decision regarding gay marriage. In the meantime, spouses and families are suffering financially and medically due to the University’s discrimination.
If you or your family members are being discriminated against because yours is a same-sex marriage, or if you need to consult with a knowledgeable family law attorney in Arizona for any reason, please contact Mitchell Cohen at Cohen Family Law by calling 602.714.8898