Late last week, Texas Republican Senator, Dan Patrick submitted a formal Attorney General Opinion request asking if the Texas Constitution prevents governmental entities in Texas from extending employee benefits to domestic partners. Recently, Pflugerville Independent School District became the first Texas school district to offer benefits to domestic partners. Taxpayers responded by overwhelming the next Pflugerville I.S.D. board meeting, with outraged residents forced to stand as every seat was filled. A growing number of county and city level governmental entities are also ignoring the Texas Constitution on this issue as well.
The Texas Constitution states the following:
(a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman.
(b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage. (Added Nov. 8, 2005.)
Texas Values president, Jonathan Saenz, released the following statement:
“Senator Patrick’s request is timely and is one that the people of Texas want as government entities like Pflugerville I.S.D. disrespect the will of the people and try to circumvent the state Constitution. The Texas Constitution correctly respects marriage. So-called same sex “domestic partnerships” are clearly an effort to undermine marriage and are not supported in Texas law. We expect that Attorney General Abbott will conclude what we all know: government efforts to recognize “domestic partnerships” in Texas are unconstitutional. We thank Senator Patrick for his leadership on this issue.”