Main | Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Texas Attorney General: Domestic Partner Benefits Violate State Constitution

GOP Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott says that any city that offers domestic partner benefits is in violation of the state constitution.
Domestic partnerships, as recognized by the local governments, are close enough to the definition of marriage to violate a constitutional amendment banning same-sex unions that 76 percent of Texas voters approved in 2005, the opinion stated. “By creating domestic partnerships and offering health benefits based on them, the political subdivisions have created and recognized something not established by Texas law,” the opinion said. Lawyers for Austin and Travis County have begun researching the opinion to help political leaders determine if it should be followed. Attorney general opinions attempt to determine how Texas courts would rule on a legal matter, but only the courts have the definitive say on constitutional questions.
Travis County, which has offered such benefits for 16 years, will hold a meeting next week to discuss Abbott's claim.  The Austin City Council will meet with its lawyers but says it has no plan to change its benefits. (Tipped by JMG reader Jeff)

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