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.