Abstract for 2008 Honors Colloquium

Ryan Scott


"The Nexus of Politics and Business: How the Political Environment Influences Corporate Decision-making on Same-sex Partner Benefits"

The debate in the public sphere over how, or if, to recognize LGBT individuals and families has changed dramatically since the Stonewall Riots in 1969. How has this debate been perceived by business? In the last twenty years a tidal wave of businesses have begun extending health care benefits to the same-sex domestic partners of their gay employees. This thesis examines how the public discourse in our capitols and courthouses can both empower gay rights activists in the workplace and change how corporate executives perceive LGBT families.