Sunday, January 20, 2008

Domestic partner benefits

I sent the following to the President of Zions Bank this week. Scott Anderson is a good man and would make a fine Governor.

I am awaiting a response.

I hope that this email finds you well and that you have something wonderful planned for the three-day weekend to celebrate the Doctor King holiday. I believe that is a day on, not a day off, as they say in Utah.

I met you for the first time at the Legislative Preview breakfast and came away impressed with your intellect, compassion and vision. I believe at the time I asked you whether you had any political aspirations and told you to consider running for Governor.

I see that you are anxiously engaged, to quote the Utah vernacular and are working with a group in the Becker Administration. This is heartening to me, because your voice, leadership and vision is needed in the city of Salt Lake, even the SLC Corporation. I note that Mayor Becker has committed to doing business with companies who offer domestic partner benefits.

I am a Zions bank client by chance. I came to Utah 7 years ago and needed to find a bank close to my place of work - it was purely happenstance that your bank had a branch in the same office complex. I stayed with the bank because I had mostly good experiences, and believed in the concept of "we haven't forgotten who keeps us in business." Indeed, there is one Rohaib Hamid who was my personal banker at the Broadway branch who is an outstanding representative of all that your corporation aspires to see in their employees.

Some years ago, I almost closed my Zions account because of the debacle over funding for the HRC benefit. I served as a member of the Utah Pride Center board and was married to a gay man for 15 years. We married in the temple and have four amazing sons. I wanted to close my account on principle, as I am a devoutly principled person, as I know you to be.

I write to you because I received a distress call from a close friend in Utah earlier this week. For some time he has been using the EAP program because of relationship issues. He is a divorcee, and I helped him to address some personal issues with his former wife, whom he divorced because, like my husband and countless other men in Utah in and out of the LDS Church, he is gay. His partner of over 2 years called it quits this week. This friend of mine has been with your bank for over 15 years and is in management. He is scared to go to EAP for counseling which he desperately needs, because he fears reprisals in the workplace. I do not know what the statement of inclusion and diversity is at Zions Bank - I do, however know that discrimination is not to be tolerated in any way.

My appeal to you is does Zions Bank have the political and moral will to clarify the handbook with regard to domestic partners and benefits? My friend indicates that the policy is nebulous and is offered to Zions staffers in states such as California.

I appreciate your consideration and welcome your feedback.

No comments: