UC Irvine has refused to allow gay couples to live in campus housing for married students, prompting criticism from gay groups and at least one university administrator that gays were being denied equal treatment.
University Vice Chancellor Kathy Jones said Wednesday that UCI officials rejected a proposal that gay couples who would sign so-called "domestic partnership" agreements be allowed to live in the 600 apartments reserved for married students in the Verano Place complex, which has an eight-month waiting list. The plan was drafted by the university's Advisory Committee on the Status of Lesbians and Gays.
Robert F. Gentry, advisory committee co-chair and a university administrator, criticized the decision, saying, "We are very disappointed because this sends a strong message to gay and lesbian people at UCI that they are not considered equal to other people on campus and are not welcome here."
The panel had recommended that UCI Vice Chancellor Horace Mitchell allow gay couples who sign domestic partnership agreements to live in Verano Place. The agreements would be similar to the marriage certificates students now must present to be eligible for married student housing, Jones said. Each year, about three gay couples inquire about married student housing, Gentry said.