"Otherwise, both tthe University and individuals concerned would run the risk of entering into legal relationships about important matters such as health care which later might be overturned. Also, this affords same-sex partners of University employees relying on Judge Piazza's opinion and final order and my memorandum of May 12 to obtain insurance coverage ogther than under the University's medical benefit plan. Any premiums which may have been, or will be, deducted for employees enrolling should be refunded. I also note that under University's plan no coverage would begin until June 1, 2014 and current coverage is not affected.Here's Harrison's memo.
I am sending this via blind copy to our employees who recently added their same-sex spouses to insurance or made a new flexible spending account election.Please note the advice that a person legally married in another state may not be viewed as such in Arkansas. This is the part of the Arkansas marriage prohibition that simply cannot withstand court challenge.
Today the University of Arkansas System Office announced that same-sex spouses cannot be added to benefits at this time. Click here for the announcement just posted on our intranet site. It includes the letter from the UA System Office explaining this decision.
I regret that this action was taken, but can understand why it was made. Until this court case is over, the legality of your marriage in Arkansas — whether that marriage occurred here or in another state — is uncertain. We want to make sure the benefit elections you make will ‘stick’ and that your family will be assured of coverage.
I am going to hold your benefit forms until June 20, in the hopes that this case is resolved by then and we can proceed with your benefit changes. But if that doesn’t occur, let me know if you want the forms back or if it’s okay for me to shred them. Then once this is resolved and the University gives the thumbs up, please be sure to visit our office again to complete new forms.
Thank you for your patience!