Apr 272008
Authors: Sean Reed

Recently, Larimer County announced its intention to extend the same benefits to same-sex couples as it offers to its heterosexual employees.

Ryan Searle, a junior criminology major, was kind enough to chat with the Collegian about why he supports Larimer County’s decision.

Q: Do you think Larimer County made the right decision in extending benefits to same-sex couples?

A: Definitely. I think everyone should have the same rights, no matter what their sexual beliefs or identity is.

Q: Do you think CSU should adopt the same policy?

A: Yeah, I do. I think if Larimer County is doing something like that . CSU should definitely follow suit. I don’t know necessarily know why they wouldn’t.

Q: Do you think same-sex couples should be able to marry or get a domestic partnership?

A: Yeah. I’ve never seen why they shouldn’t be able to. They should have the same rights. We’re all people and not everyone believes in the same things, but you still need to respect other people’s beliefs.

Q: Why do you think there is so much hostility to same-sex marriages or benefits?

A: Because it’s different. People don’t know different so they’re afraid of it and so they think they should put rules against it or laws against it.

Q: Do you think there is any validity to the other side?

A: I guess it’s kind of a tough concept to actually grasp the entire thing. And I don’t know enough about the entire issue to say if its valid or not.

But that’s what I’ve seen in history — if it’s different then people are maybe against it or fearful of something that might result from it. That’s as best as I can say.

Eric Versluys, a senior mechanical engineering major, sat down with the Collegian and let us in on why he does not support Larimer County’s decision.

Q: Do you support Larimer County’s decision to extend benefits to same-sex couples?

A: No, I do not. However, I also don’t support the other aspect of the new policy that provides benefits for heterosexual “domestic partners,” either.

Moral arguments aside, extending the same privileges to “domestic partners” as . married couples undermines the value of marriage in society. Strong marriages provide crucial stability for families, communities and countries, and the recognition of “domestic partners” as worthy of the same respect and benefits weakens the important institution of marriage.

Q: Do you think CSU should adopt a similar policy?

A: No, I don’t think CSU should adopt the same policy for the same reasons, in addition to being a wasteful use of our tuition dollars.

Q: Would you be okay if private employers pursued a similar possibility?

A: Absolutely, if only for the reason that I support freedom of enterprise. If private employers decide it would be best for their company to provide benefits to anyone related or affiliated with an employee, they should be able to do it. In business, profit is usually the driving force, and if employers decide offering benefits to an employee’s fourth-cousin-twice-removed will retain more employees and increase profits, fine. However, I would applaud any private employer who chooses not to offer “domestic partner” benefits because they recognize the important contribution [that] businesses make to our society and the negative impact that a “domestic partner” benefit package would have beyond the walls of the company.

Q: Why do you think people would support this policy?

A: Anyone in the position of benefiting from such a policy would clearly have reason to support it. Additionally, there are those for whom preserving and protecting traditional marriage is not a value and they are willing to support the policy regardless of the consequences

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