Employee Insurance Benefits

Employee Insurance Benefits


Several political subdivisions around the state, including Pflugerville ISD, extend insurance benefits to employees’ domestic partners. Since Texas does not recognize or give legal status to a domestic partnership, the term “domestic partner” describes someone who meets the eligibility requirements of one’s insurance carrier. Senator Dan Patrick has asked the attorney general to determine whether this practice violates Article I, § 32 of the Texas Constitution (commonly referred to as the Texas Marriage Amendment), which states that a political subdivision of the state may not “create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.” “Marriage” is defined as only the union of one man and one woman. The legal question is whether political subdivisions who offer employees, at no cost to the district, the option to purchase health insurance for a qualifying partner are creating or recognizing a “legal status,” which is prohibited by the Constitution. On February 15, 2013, LAF filed a letter brief with the Texas attorney general arguing that extending benefits to domestic partners does not violate the Texas Constitution and should be a decision subject to local control of the school district. The attorney general will respond by May 4, 2013. RQ-1097-GA (Texas Attorney General). LAF’s Attorney: Paul A. Lamp, Rogers, Morris & Grover, LLP, Houston.