AUSTIN, Texas (AP)—The Pflugerville school board has upheld rules extending insurance benefits to domestic partners effective Jan. 1.
The Austin American-Statesman reports that the school district north of Austin is the state’s first to offer such benefits.
The move came despite tea party-backed state Sen. Dan Patrick asking state Attorney General Greg Abbott last month for an opinion on whether local governments and entities can grant marriage benefits to same-sex partners.
Texas amended its Constitution in 2005 to define marriage as between one man and one woman. It also prohibited government entities from recognizing anything similar to marriage.
But Patrick, a Houston Republican, noted that some domestic-partner benefits have been offered to employees of the cities of El Paso, Austin and Forth Worth, and to Pflugerville school district employees.