Saturday, November 16, 2002
Pitt, Gays Reach Compromise
For the past six years, the University of Pittsburgh been embroiled in an ongoing controversy surrounding the issue of same-sex benefits.
The issue has again come to the forefront in recent months, as students and faculty continue to stage protests proclaiming their views on and around campus.
Emerging from the turmoil that has raged for months, common ground has been found. Last week, Pitt Trustees and protesters came to a compromise that satiates both parties. Beginning March 1, 2003, Pitt is set to offer same-sex bathrooms for Pitt students, staff, and faculty.
“We couldn't justifiably offer benefits to same-sex partners due to the risk it incurs upon this University,” Pitt spokesman Robert Hill argued. “But late last night, we reached an agreement which both sides agreed to. Same-sex couples may not be able to go to the doctor together, but now while on Pitt’s campus, they will be able to go to the bathroom together.”
Pitt’s Gay and Lesbian group, the Rainbow Alliance, is calling the compromise a “small step towards achieving equality.” Spokesperson Erin Antonio commented, “This is a great day to be gay. Pitt has finally seen our side, and while we haven’t won the war, I believe we’ve won this battle.”
Bisexual Pitt Professor Janet Delstone was “overjoyed" with the announcement: “It’s a relief to know that every time I need to take a shit, my partner will be able to join me. Perhaps she will even be empowered enough to help with the wiping. Pitt’s policy is certainly revolutionary when it comes to same-sex bathrooms.”
However, not all in the Pitt community are as excited as Delstone. Pitt undergrad Mark Winters has offered a stern warning towards any homosexual bathroom users: “Them gays better stick to the Cathedral stalls that have doors.”
Regardless of any opposition, the same-sex bathrooms will be installed this spring, and will officially open with a Chancellor’s prune and coffee reception on April 31.