Texas Rep. Proposes Cutting Funding From School Districts Offering Domestic Partner Benefits

Last year, Pflugerville school district in Texas became the first in the state to offer benefits to domestic partners of employees, whether gay or straight. But some legislators say that move goes against the values Texans apparently hold dear.

Rep. Drew Springer, a Republican state representative from the state’s Cooke County, proposed a bill this week that would slash healthcare funding by 7.5 percent for school districts that offer benefits to employees’ domestic partners — a major blow to those districts and their staffs:

Rep. Drew Springer

“Our tax-dollars are for educating kids, not for enacting policies that attempt to get the state to recognize homosexual relationships,” Springer said in a release. “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.”

According to the bill’s proponents, discrimination is a constitutional value:

Jonathan Saenz, president of the anti-gay group Texas Values, said: “This bill is a clear message to every Texas school district, if they mess with the Texas Constitution, it will cost them, dearly.”

Texas consistently has some of the lowest rates of LGBT acceptance and tolerance, and voters constitutionally outlawed marriage equality in 2005. We know there are politicians who oppose LGBT rights, but to punish school districts that don’t discriminate is about as low as you can go.

About Camille Beredjick

Camille is a twentysomething working in the LGBT nonprofit industry. She runs an LGBT news blog at gaywrites.org.

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/chidy/ chicago dyke

    my gaydar is going off, looking at that picture.

    TX is filled with old people. it’s changing, rapidly, with the growth of the Latino community and some other things. but until a lot of retirees, who move here from other states for the low, low taxes, die off, TX will remain one of the reddest of the red states. but it will change. i see that all the time, in the brown, black and asian faces of so many of the children here. altho it will be hard to overcome the forces of the churches, which are everywhere, on every channel and radio station, and which infect every aspect of life here. i recently moved here for jobs reasons and it’s quite fascinating. haven’t been lynched yet, so there’s that..

    • Rain

      If you google for him in google images you’ll see that he likes shooting guns, so therefore is not gay. Additionally he is a totally-not-gay Republican.

      • pete084

        Until he is outed by the revelation of his gay lover, as is often the case with the most vociferous homophobes. The recent outing of the Cardinal in Scotland is a classic example.

    • John_in_Vegas

      That’s funny, my gaydar went off too! It’s the first thing I noticed as I read the post.

    • Mario Strada

      Well, I am glad you new neighbors haven’t lynched you yet. It would ruin my day (not to mention yours). You always have something interesting to say.

      As far as gaydar, I too had a bit of a “signal”. But mostly I was impressed by the size of his nose. If he was a sailboat, it would be difficult to capsize him. The second thing that came to mind was a rodent. Imagine wiskers on him. They would fit famously.
      Only then my gaydar activated But I trust your judgment in these matter more than this 50 yo straight Italian guy.

  • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

    So, basically, Rep. Drew Springer is saying that if school districts don’t follow his preferred bigotry to discriminate against some Texas teachers, he will cut funding to those school districts.

    Ahhhh….. christian love at it’s finest!

    • observer

      It’s not bigotry or discrimination – it’s Gods way.

      • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

        The ways of your god are the epitome of bigotry or discrimination.

        • observer

          I was being satirical. :P

          • http://www.youtube.com/user/GodVlogger?feature=mhee GodVlogger (on YouTube)

            Noted! That’s the problem with religion, it’s impossible to distinguish from insanity. Peace.

            • observer

              Indeed. Frankly, if a religion is so crazy that you can’t tell the diffrence between the real thing, or a parody, that should be a red flag that the religion shouldn’t be taken seriously.

            • benanov

              The shorthand for such a situation is called Poe’s Law. :)

  • Baby_Raptor

    Every time one of these fascists says something about peoples’ “values” (as if what perfect strangers think about someone elses’ relationship should even matter) someone needs to stick Christianity in there in place of whatever they’re condemning and throw it back in their faces.

    Religion is a choice. Sexuality is not. Gender is not. If anything should be condemned, it’s people who choose to believe that a sky daddy commands them to discriminate.

  • 7Footpiper

    Of course Republicans are all for smaller Government and less interference in the lives of citizens unless you happen to be gay. Health benefits for partners are human rights, gay, straight or whatever way you want to swing the right to good health and access to health benefits should be of no concern to anyone except the person involved and their healthcare professionals. Having a healthy and happy population has benefits for the entire country.

    Always have to switch red and blue around, in Canada red is liberal and blue is god-fearing troglodyte.

    • Jack

      Or if you’re a person with a uterus! I guess as the saying goes a government that can fit in there is pretty small though…

      Barf. Republicans.

  • Sean Keeney

    Each time I feel miserable about the politics in England, I read about Texas and feel better about myself.

  • Cecelia

    Texas…..where “X” marks the signature, and hatred and intolerance are “family values”.

    Fuck Texas. Fuck that state right up its oily asshole (that is a euphamism for Rick Perry)

    • Russell

      While I agree in principle with the sentiment, continuing to equate anal fucking with revulsion and forced sexual violence perpetuates homophobia by reinforcing gay male stereotypes. Please be part of the solution and find a better way to express yourself.

      • Cecelia

        Oh shut up you faux sensitive asswipe. Seriously. WTF. Go feign the vapors and clutch at your pearls elsewhere, because this false indignation at anything ever said, anywhere is tired.

        so stop being so butthurt.

        • Erin W

          I’m really curious why you feel the need to be so hostile in defending your choice of using metaphorical threats of rape. I agree with Russell that it’s objectionable. This isn’t feigned indignation, it’s an attempt to educate. Please read up on rape culture.

          • no thanks tumblr

            Lol rape culture

  • trj

    How quickly the fervent champions of small government will jump to force regulation on something that ought to be people’s private business.

    Puritans with political power – they always know what’s best for you.

  • Texan

    According to the Austin newspaper, this is meant to target Pflugerville, which is 250 miles from Springer’s home district. Their policy is to allow DP to receive benefits if they pay the premiums themselves. Employees continue to be the only ones getting insurance from taxpayers. (http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/pflugerville-district-first-in-texas-to-offer-bene/nSWRX/). And—surprise!—he comes from the party that claims to favor decentralized government and local control.

    But just to remind everyone that Texas also has intelligent, fair-minded people:
    http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/some-legislators-seek-to-repeal-state-gay-marriage/nWRb8/#cmComments

  • A3Kr0n

    He wants to help the kids by teaching creation falsehoods in biology class, but if a student happens to live in the wrong district he or she gets less resources for education.
    Makes sense.

  • texan

    According to the Austin newspaper, this is meant to target Pflugerville, which is 250 miles from Springer’s home district. Their policy is to allow DP to receive benefits if they pay the premiums themselves. Employees continue to be the only ones getting insurance from taxpayers. (http://www.statesman.com/news/news/local/pflugerville-district-first-in-texas-to-offer-bene/nSWRX/). And—surprise!—he comes from the party that claims to favor decentralized government and local control.

    But just to remind everyone that Texas also has intelligent, fair-minded people:
    http://www.statesman.com/news/news/state-regional-govt-politics/some-legislators-seek-to-repeal-state-gay-marriage/nWRb8/#cmComments

    • texan

      i have searched the Statesman’s site to the end of my patience trying to find the story they ran about this yesterday or the day before, but it seems not to be on their web site. You can view it through their ipad (and probably also android) app.

    • texan

      sorry about the double post. I hate this interface so bad.

  • Kengi

    So, it would be OK to have a bill which cut funding to districts which give benefits to Christian spouses since our tax-dollars are for educating kids, not for enacting policies that attempt to get the state to recognize Christian relationships,

    Yeah, I didn’t think so…

  • Stev84

    Typical Republican hypocrite. They are for local decisions and decentralization only as long as the locals do exactly what they want. See also Tennessee, which banned local anti-discrimination laws when it comes to gays.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Brian-Utterback/500054477 Brian Utterback

    Wasn’t one of the arguments against marriage equality that it isn’t needed, because civil unions get all of the same rights? This talks about domestic partner, does the healthcare insurance in question allow heterosexual domestic partners to have this benefit? Is the funding planned to be cut if the domestic partners belong in a civil union? If yes to the first and/or no to the second, then the original argument was bogus and marriage equality is indeed needed, even by the opponents own arguments.

  • TiltedHorizon

    Drew Springer is a Texas-sized sphincter. Is this even legal? Marriages and Domestic Partnerships are contacts, which should mean they are protected by Article 1 Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution; i.e. states are prohibited from imposing laws impairing the Obligation of Contracts. Am I wrong about this?

  • http://www.facebook.com/fcojavier.maringracia Fco Javier Marín Gracia

    I don’t think the’re talking about (homo)sexual relations if there is not necesary for a married couple to have sex (in a regular basis) to deserve the benefits.
    As long as they don’t have sex (both types, homo & hetero) during the classes I don’t see the difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/fcojavier.maringracia Fco Javier Marín Gracia

    I don’t think the’re talking about (homo)sexual relations if there is not necesary for a married couple to have sex (in a regular basis) to deserve the benefits.
    As long as they don’t have sex (both types, homo & hetero) during the classes I don’t see the difference.


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