Should local governments and school districts be allowed to provide marriage benefits to same-sex partners?
AUSTIN (AP) — Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has issued an opinion stating that local governments and school districts that offer marriage benefits to same-sex partners are violating the state constitution.
Tea party-backed state Sen. Dan Patrick sought the ruling in November. The Houston Republican 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.
The cities of El Paso, Austin and Fort Worth have offered some benefits to domestic partners. Pflugerville, outside Austin, became the state's first school district to extend similar benefits.
Patrick said in a statement that Monday's opinion ensures local communities and school districts "cannot subvert the will of Texans."
A spokeswoman for Pflugerville Independent School had no comment.