Bexar County Set to Extend Benefits to Gay Partners
by Jim Forsyth
Hidden deep inside the agenda for today's Bexar County Commissioners Court meeting, item number 55 on the agenda of 'items that can be taken up at any time during the meeting' is a measure to extend employee benefits to the same sex partners of Bexar County employees, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The measure, which is sponsored by County Judge Nelson Wolff and Commissioner Paul Elizondo, both of whom are up for re-election this year, would get around questions about whether same sex benefits amounts to tacit recognition of gay marriage by using what is called a 'Plus One' system.
The proposal would allow employees to add 'One Qualifying Adult' to his or her employee benefits plan, 'under certain restrictions and with proof of financial interdependence.'
Essentially, what that means, is the employee could designate one individual of either gender, whether they and that employee are married or not, as long as they can prove that they are financially tied to each other.
The vote will put Bexar County in line with the City of San Antonio, which since last year has granted benefits to the same sex partners of city employees, as well as to employees of city owned CPS Energy and SAWS.
But a same sex benefits program in Houston has been thrown out by a judge, who said it violates the Texas Constitution, which says the only domestic relationships which are recognized by the state are the marriage of one man and one woman.