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Texas Attorney General: Same-sex marriage benefits unconstitutional

Monday, April 29, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas — Local governments and school districts that offer marriage benefits to same-sex partners are violating the state constitution, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott stated in an opinion Monday.

The cities of Austin, El Paso and Forth Worth already have offered some benefits to domestic partners, while Pflugerville, outside Austin, became the state’s first school district to extend similar benefits.

Greg Abbott

Tea party-backed state Sen. Dan Patrick of Houston asked Abbott, a fellow Republican, to review the matter in November. Patrick argued that Texas amended its constitution in 2005 to define marriage as between one man and one woman, while prohibiting government entities from recognizing anything similar to marriage.

In a six-page opinion, Abbott found that the constitution “prohibits political subdivisions from creating a legal status of domestic partnership and recognizing that status by offering public benefits based upon it.” H e said city governments and school districts constitute political subdivisions.

In a statement, Patrick said the measure, known as the Marriage Amendment, was passed by “an overwhelming majority of the Texas legislature and ratified by more than 75 percent of Texas voters.”

“This opinion clearly outlines that cities, counties and school districts cannot subvert the will of Texans,” Patrick said.

Amanda Brim, a spokesman for Pflugerville Independent School District, said of Monday’s opinion, “We’re just reviewing it and have no response at this point.”

Texas Values, a conservative advocacy group, claimed that Austin Independent School District was “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,” said the group’s president, Jonathan Saenz. “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.”

Saenz’s group is backing House Bill 1568, a proposal that states that offering benefits to same-sex domestic partners “is essentially contrary” to the Marriage Amendment. It seeks to revoke accreditation status and even state funding to any school district that violates the constitution.

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40 more reader comments:

  1. nuts

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:21pm
  2. Thats why there is an “ass” in Tex-ass

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:22pm
  3. Then so is all marriage. Idiot!

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:22pm
  4. Give them good reason to overturn the State Constitution.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:22pm
  5. this guy needs to go back to school hes an idiot….

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:22pm
  6. D bAG OF THE WEEK!!!

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:22pm
  7. You’re moving backwards Gregg Abbott…Peace & Love to ALL man…

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:23pm
  8. cannot wait to hear about his funeral

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:23pm
  9. No.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:23pm
  10. Yes but unregulated fertilizer plants are just fine?

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:23pm
  11. This is one of the reasons why I don’t believe in states rights. We need to federally approve of same-sex-marriage. You shouldn’t be denied rights simply because you moved to a state that doesn’t recognize you.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:24pm
  12. His comment is unconstitucional

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:25pm
  13. What does one say other then he is from Texas. They state that would allow a fertilizer plant to be right next to a grade school, nursing home and condos.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:25pm
  14. To each his own.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:25pm
  15. Hater.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:27pm
  16. maybe thats why we annexed them from the US………….along with BUSH

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:28pm
  17. if he can’t represent “all” the people he needs to step down and walk away

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:28pm
  18. Idiot

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:29pm
  19. Why?

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:30pm
  20. When comments like this come from Texas, I’m not surprised, unfortunately. :(

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:33pm
  21. moron WHERE does the consitution EVER say UNEQUAL?

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:33pm
  22. I can strike him off my list of helping Our case.. So Sad~

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:37pm
  23. Leave it to Texas to double down on homophobia. smart move Texas!

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:39pm
  24. People like that should do the world a favor and jump off a building. What a sad person you must be to want power and authority just to deprive others of equality.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:41pm
  25. Just wait till the Supreme Court throws the Constitution at him!

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:45pm
  26. I hope someone knock sense into the politicians in Texas soon!

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:47pm
  27. Well basically put some since in anyone willing to make comments like this here Attorney

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:49pm
  28. Sense* hmm I shouldn’t comment

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:49pm
  29. As a Texan, I am disgusted with this. This guy think that the Bible is the state constitution. What a way to run a state. I am so embarrassed.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:52pm
  30. What bothers me most is his comment that the Texas constitution was amended in 2005 to prevent localities from “subverting to the will of Texans.” In other words…what Texans “actually” want doesn’t matter…what the lawmakers want is clearly the only thing that matters. People…we need to get these idiots out of office ASAP! This includes our idiot governor too!

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 3:59pm
  31. This stupid fuck deserves to eat shit and die for his hateful words.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 4:04pm
  32. is anyone else tired of these middle aged white Americans trying to change our constitution? they’re trying to take over.. stand up… say something…

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 4:19pm
  33. Stone him

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 4:25pm
  34. Don’t blame Texas. I love living here. Just wished we didn’t have so many a$$holes.

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 4:32pm
  35. What constitution was this idiot reading?

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 4:39pm
  36. Well .. take it to court!!!

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 5:09pm
  37. What a fucktard… Oh, wait, I take that back, that’s an insult to fucktarded Americans…

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 5:16pm
  38. Fuck off and die!

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 5:55pm
  39. Since I’m gay AND childless can I get back all my school tax money?

    Posted on Monday, April 29, 2013 at 7:37pm
  40. I supppose he also talks to God who told him this??? Narrow-minded moron!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 7:29am