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A gay couple who gave the University of California, Los Angeles, $1 million in cash will help the university launch what is described as the nation's first endowed academic chair in sexual orientation law. The Los Angeles Times reports that John McDonald and Rob Wright will assist in funding the chair of research at UCLA's Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy.
The University of California system agreed to accept the money but will review whether establishing a chair matches UC's research and teaching missions, according to the Times.
A current UCLA law school faculty member will take the position by September. In searching for a chair the couple stress that they want someone who will provide nonpartisan, objective research involving same-sex relationships, adoption, and property settlements, the article said.
McDonald, 74, and Wright, 58, made a previous donation of $100,000 to the Williams Institute and gave $1.5 million to the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center a decade ago. Their philanthropic efforts, they told the Times, are a result of their not being able to share their finances in the same way that straight couples can. In their 25-year relationship the two have had to make costly inheritance and insurance plans that are "unnecessary" for a married straight couple. (The Advocate)