AUSTIN, TX. — Today, Attorney General Greg Abbott ruled that “the Texas Constitution prohibits political subdivisions from creating a legal status of domestic partnership and recognizing that status by offering public benefits based upon it.”
In 2005, Texas passed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) defining marriage in the Constitution as the union of one man and one woman. This past fall, Pflugerville Independent School District became the first school district in the state to enact a policy in which same-sex domestic partners can acquire insurance benefits. In March, Austin ISD followed suit with a policy they claim will cost tax-payers $600,000 per year.
Last week, Rep. Drew Springer (R – Muenster) passed a committee substitute to HB 1568 out of committee that would, upon an Attorney General ruling, prohibit school districts from knowingly violating the constitution.
“Today’s AG ruling upholds what I have known to be true since the beginning,” said Springer. “A school district does not have the authority to ignore the Texas Constitution and use tax-payer dollars intended for kids on domestic partner benefits.”
Springer’s HB 1568 is currently in the Calendars Committee awaiting a vote on the House Floor.
“Pflugerville ISD and Austin ISD are teaching their students a terrible lesson about the importance of following the law if these rogue school districts don’t immediately end their unconstitutional policy,” said Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values. “This issue just highlights the need for accountability and enforcement of the Texas Constitution, as addressed by HB 1568.”
If you have any questions about this legislation, please feel free to contact his Capitol office by phone (512) 463- 0526 or by email [email protected] at any time for more information.