Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Local public sphere? Marriage amendment listening session scheduled for tomorrow

From a UW-Madison press release today that showed up in my Bloglines RSS feeds:

A listening session will be held from 5-6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15 in the Main Lounge of Memorial Union to give campus community members an opportunity to voice feelings related to the recently-passed marriage amendment and discuss the implications for domestic partner benefits.

Chancellor John Wiley and Provost Patrick Farrell are expected to attend the session, which is open to students, faculty and staff.

In the wake of last week’s election, UW-Madison intends to continue offering the services and benefits it currently offers to students, employees and their partners while awaiting legal clarifications regarding the implications of the amendment.

“I would like to reassure everyone that UW-Madison will continue to be a place that rejects discrimination and respects diversity of all kinds,” Wiley wrote in a Nov. 9 letter to the campus community. “There is a place for all people here, and the Nov. 7 approval of this amendment does not change that commitment.”

“But there are lingering questions about what this amendment might mean for current and future benefits for employees,” he added. “To that end, I am bringing together a group of staff from human resources, equity and diversity, and other relevant areas to review the amendment and its possible impacts.”

Using networked information technology to muster local stakeholders into a face-to-face, realtime public sphere discussion about the way state political issues affect the local citizenry, anyone?

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