TEXAS: Repeal Of Domestic Partners Law Hurts El Paso's Straight Retirees
In November, El Paso's Pastor Tom Brown organized a successful ballot measure repealing the city's domestic partners benefits ordinance. But due to its murky wording, the new law may also cut insurance for retired cops and firefighters, among other city workers. All because 19 dirty homos were able to insure their partners.
The measure was aimed at gay workers and their partners. The wording of the proposal, however, was vague, asking El Paso residents to endorse "traditional family values" by limiting benefits to "city employees and their legal spouse and dependent children." So when 55% of the voters approved the measure on Election Day, they eliminated coverage for some 200 people who don't fit that description—among them elected officials, who aren't technically city employees, and many former city workers, the city says. Now, officials are weighing what to do. Last month, the city council decided not to use its authority to repeal what is now a city law. On Tuesday, it agreed to allow the city attorney to come up with ways to amend the ordinance, which goes into effect Jan. 1. But some members warned that they would vote against any proposal that restores benefits for retirees and not for domestic partners.The local police union is planning a lawsuit against the city. Pastor Brown says if El Paso's city council attempts to overturn the repeal, he'll launch a ballot measure stripping them of that power.
(Tipped by JMG reader Melissa)