Two wingnut Republicans in the Texas legislature have filed a bill, HB 1568, to punish any public school in the state that dares to offer equal benefits to gay employees and their partners. The punishment would be a loss of 7.5% of their state funding. Here’s the text of the bill:
Sec. 42.2532. ADJUSTMENT FOR DISTRICTS OFFERING BENEFITS TO NONDEPENDENTS.
(a) In this section, “dependent” has the meaning assigned by Section 1551.004, Insurance Code.
(b) If a school district offers insurance benefits or other benefits to a person other than a district employee or a dependent of a district employee, the commissioner shall, notwithstanding any other provision of this title:
(1) reduce by 7.5 percent the amounts due to the district under this chapter and Chapter 46; or
(2) increase by 7.5 percent the amounts necessary for the district to comply with the requirements of Chapter 41.
The bill has quickly gained 28 co-sponsors. The primary author of the bill, Rep. Drew Springer, explained the purpose of the bill:
SPRINGER: Our tax-dollars are for educating kids, not for enacting policies that attempt to get the state to recognize homosexual relationships. To think Pflugerville has sued the state for more funding, while at the same time bankrolling a lifestyle most Texans do not agree with is quite disturbing to me.
In other words: “Gays is bad people and we must keep them unequal at all costs.”