TEXAS: Benefits To Be Extended To Spouses Of Gay State Employees

Via the Austin Statesman:

The state bureaucracy is moving forward to comply with the U.S. Supreme Court’s gay marriage decision, even as statewide elected leaders, including Gov. Greg Abbott, have lambasted the landmark ruling. Starting Wednesday — less than a week after the decision — the Employees Retirement System of Texas, the University of Texas System and the Texas A&M University System will extend benefits to spouses of gay and lesbian employees. That means the list of employers providing same-sex partner benefits will include the state’s largest: the state itself. Meanwhile, at the local level, despite the saber-rattling of Abbott and other top Republicans, a growing number of county clerks were issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

More than 100 out of 254 Texas counties are issuing marriage licenses so far.

  • Blake Jordan

    Less than 254 is bullshit, but I suppose over 100 is better than nothing…
    Are you allowed to get married in any county?

    • S. Parilla

      In Texas you can go to any county, no matter which one you live in, to get a license.

    • Mike in Texas

      Some of those counties contain little other than oil rigs and tumbleweed.

  • bkmn

    Big GAY continues to ride the steamroller and fundie heads are exploding like a bag of microwave popcorn.

  • BearEyes

    Nice to see spousal benefits at the University of Texas where Regnerus slithers around.

    • Octavio

      Yes! Especially you know in Regenerus’ heart of hearts now that same sex faculty couples have benefits it does nothing but diminish the value and preciousness of his benefits. 🙂

    • KnownDonorDad

      He’s like a basilisk, but more cranky.

      • Ireyon

        But unlike a basilisk his gaze certainly won’t make you hard as stone.

        • David Walker

          There is nothing about him that would make me hard as stone.

      • Robincho

        Basilisks are WAY hotter…

    • crewman

      And speaking of him, why is he even still employed there?

      • Steverino

        Likely has tenure, I would guess.

      • D. J.

        He formed his own “think tank” and is honing his grifting skills. Now that we have marriage in all 50 states, I wonder what his grift approach will be? Maggie isn’t going to share any funds…..of that I am quite certain. Octopop Brown still has eight kids to feed plus his wife and I hope NOM is broke and nobody will come to rescue it.
        I don’t know how much funding Witherspoon really wants to toss around??

  • Mike in Texas

    It’s very gratifying to watch Abbott and Paxton being so widely ignored.

    • Gustav2

      Everyone else knows it is a reality and BIG GOVERNMENT like Texas’ need to be prepared. It is only prudent.

    • Gene

      you win the internets with THAT comment.
      I am sooo enjoying this.
      “We WILL NEVER YIELD” they said..”not in 100 years!”
      .
      That was…Friday.
      😉

  • Drewco

    Of Texas’ 30 most populous counties, only Lubbock is not issuing licenses today. (They’re pulling the excuse of waiting on updated forms, because you know that’s such a deal stopper to the waiting couples.)

    • Mike in Texas

      I think I read somewhere that approximately 85% of the population lives in counties issuing licenses.
      And, BTW, the forms were updated over the weekend. That’s not an excuse.

      • Drewco

        That’s what I thought, although Lubbock is still parroting that line. http://lubbockonline.com/local-news/2015-06-29/lubbock-county-will-offer-same-sex-marriage-licenses-after-applications

        IIRC the second largest holdout is Randall County — most of Amarillo.

        • Circ09

          I was told this morning that both Potter & Randall in Amarillo are starting licenses today.

      • billbear1961

        85%??

        What I wanted to know, and didn’t even have to ask!

        🙂

        • Mike in Texas

          Dallas Morning News has an ongoing graphic of what counties are doing. I think that’s where I read the percentage. But with all the reading I’ve been doing, it all seems to become a blur.

          • billbear1961

            Exciting times, Mike!

            🙂

    • Buck Starr

      LUBBOCK IS SUCKING AIR!
      Hale county, 45 miles to the North, is issuing licenses! Small town of Plainview! YEEE HAWWW!

    • IamM

      Search and replace is hard y’all.

  • Octavio

    But how about the deeply held religious beliefs of those working in the State’s HR departments? Can they be forced to do their job and ensure that same sex couples receive benefits and coverage? Oh my heavens! Won’t someone please think of the elitist christains who believe homosexuality is a mortal sin?

  • Freeman

    As a native, I’m still slack-jawed with shock that this is going down in Texas.

  • Chucktech

    We may comment here about how Texas is such an appalling den of christianist snakes, but Texas is a big place and there are some actual adults who keep the machinery of government running, and this is what we’re seeing.

    Shocking? Sure, at first blush, but marriage equality IS the law of the land, and the spousal benefits for same sex married partners is simply part of that law. And, of course, it really isn’t that shocking that the public university system in Texas would be on board pretty quickly.

    And the fact that this surely makes more good Texas christian heads explode is just a little more butter cream frosting on that wedding cake!

    • With nearly 60% of Americans for equal marriage, even in right wing Texas we have defenders and supporters.

  • Ninja0980

    Even though many agencies are doing this because they support us, I imagine others are doing it because they are being told that groups like ADF might defend them pro bono but they won’t be paying the bill when the clerk/office worker etc ultimately loses.

    • popebuck1

      Exactly. The governor and the legislators are the ones making all the noise and vowing defiance… but the little guys in the trenches, the county clerks and civil servants, they know the governor isn’t going to be the one sued.

  • HeyBudBoston

    Let the tears of anguish start flowing…..

    • billbear1961

      And the tears of JOY!

      Hail, JUSTICE, Imperatrix MUNDI!!

      🙂

  • popebuck1

    It’s kind of heartening that the actual civil servants in Texas, for the most part, are ignoring the braying jackasses in the Legislature and quietly complying with the law. Of course, they’re not as stupid as the legislators, who can demand noncompliance all they want, but who know they themselves will never be sued or fined.

    • Rand503

      They see that complying with the law really isn’t that difficult after all.

  • BrianInNH
    • BrianInNH

      It looks like, in all but 1-4 counties, you can either get married or drive to a bordering county to get married. In those 1-4 counties, you might have to drive 2 counties over.

      I am SHOCKED that the county that I grew up in is now issuing marriage licenses. Absolutely SHOCKED.

  • txscotty39

    If you could see and hear the ignorant republicans that control the county where I live, you would know why it is not going to issue a license until it is forced to do so. I hope that force shows up quickly.

  • unsavedheathen

    My partner and I live in Dallas. He’s an employee of the UT system. I’m self-employed and have carried private health insurance since 2000 when I left my corporate job.

    We will be at the Dallas County Courthouse tomorrow morning to get our license and will be married on 7/21, the 25th anniversary of the day we met at the Spike in WeHo.

    Love wins and we save $438 a month!

    • billbear1961

      Hooray!!

      Congratulations!!

    • Ragnar Lothbrok

      Awesome !
      You can buy a lot of gay cake for $ 438 !!

    • Have a fabulous wedding and a wonderful life! And think of something fun to do with the $438 now and then.

    • ….

      • unsavedheathen

        Just to be clear… no one will be wearing a sweater vest. 😉

        • Oh? writing note to self, NO sweater vests on cakes.

          Have a mega happy wedding!

  • billbear1961

    Justice marches on, taking county after county!!!!

    Equal benefits, equal recognition, equal RESPECT!!

    In . . . TEXAS!!

    https://youtu.be/hbnunexhlXM?t=5s

  • Queequeg

    I guess it’s about time to retire the term “same sex marriage” in favor of the term “marriage”.

  • Circ09

    I came out to a client this afternoon after he asked me what I thought of all the same-sex marriage “hoopla”. He’s your typical 69 yr old straight white Texan. Why do they never believe me when I tell them I’m gay? I am not even particularly “femme” & downright plain looking these days. I always love the expression on their face when they realize I am not “joshing”. He took it well though other than telling me we may be able to change the law but ‘we can’t change hearts & minds’. It’s Texas, darlin’, I know. And went into some detail about some of the physically violent things that had happened to me when I was younger. I told him he opened up more a can of worms with that ask than he reckoned. Being back home has been a very strange experiment. And coming out never ends.