Several weeks back I authored HB 1568 to stop school districts from offering healthcare benefits to domestic partners. At the time, only Pflugerville ISD was participating in such a program, but it was rumored that several schools around the state were contemplating enacting similar policies.
Today, coincidentally on the same day the US Supreme Court debates the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), Austin ISD announced its intent to provide these same benefits to domestic partners within their district.
As a State, we passed the Texas Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) in 2003 defining marriage in the Constitution as the union of one man and one woman. In this act we stated that the “state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.”
Domestic Partnerships are not recognized relationships in this state. As such, enacting policies like these open up an entirely undefined population to healthcare benefits, as anyone can claim to be a domestic partner.
Our education dollars are meant for educating our kids, not for enacting policies that attempt to get the state to recognize homosexual relationships. It does not make sense for Austin ISD to consider spending an additional $600,000 per year on this while the legislature is searching for ways to better fund public education.