Sunday, November 8, 2009

Cities in Texas continue to consider extending medical insurance benefits to domestic partners of city employees

11/06/09 Star-Telegram:

Texas Constitution Art. 1, §32 is a super-DOMA amendment. It bans not only same-sex marriage, but also legal status for relationships similar to marriage. Nevertheless, El Passo recently joined Dallas and Austin among city employers extending medical insurance to domestic partners of employees.

Cleveland has been sued for violating Ohio's super-DOMA amendment when the city council adopted a domestic partnership registry database. And the Wisconsin Supreme Court last week denied a petition for an original action challenging that state's domestic partnership law.

Narrow domestic partnership laws arguably represent a new front in challenges to super-DOMA amendments. The Star-Telegram reports that Ft. Worth city officials "have said more study is needed before the council can vote on adding domestic-partner benefits or changing the health insurance plan." Kelly Shackelford, an attorney for the Liberty Legal Institute, claims that the proposal would violate the state's super-DOMA amendment.

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