Austin, TX, April 29, 2012 – Today, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and his office released an official attorney general opinion concluding 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.” The opinion makes it clear that a “political subdivision” does include “cities, counties and school districts.”
Currently, El Paso County, Travis County, City of Fort Worth, City of Austin, City of San Antonio City of El Paso, and Pflugerville Independent School District give legal recognition to domestic partnerships and/or same-sex couples, in violation of the Texas Constitution. Austin Independent School District is attempting to be the second school district in Texas to give legal recognition to domestic partnerships.
“General Abbott’s opinion now makes it clear, Pflugerville ISD and other local governmental entities in Texas are in clear violation of the Texas Constitution. 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. This issue just highlights the need for accountability and enforcement of the Texas Constitution, as addressed by HB 1568,” said Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values.
HB 1568, by Rep. Drew Springer (R-Muenster) is on the move in the Texas House and provides for specific accountability and enforcement measures against school districts that violate the Texas Constitution, like Pflugerville I.S.D. and Austin I.S.D.
Texas Values submitted a brief on Dec. 6th of last year to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, requesting that his office find the Pflugerville Independent School District and other local governmental entities in violation of the Texas Constitution.