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Petition Started In Support Of Domestic Partner Benefits For Pflugerville ISD Employees
The Pflugerville Independent School District will now reconsider a decision to offer domestic partner benefits to its employees, both gay and straight.
Supporters and opponents of the decision showed up at the October PISD board meeting. The public response prompted the board to reconsider the benefits decision at their Dec. 13 meeting.
Employees have already been able to sign to sign up for the new benefit and open enrollment has ended. The new plan is set to begin Jan. 1.
Ken Scott is one of the opponents who showed up at the October board meeting, “It just goes against God’s law to have same sex, it’s just not right.” Scott says, “(I’m) just completely against it and I’m too old to change.”
But supporters like Camille Weeks, a mother of five says changing their decision is ridiculous, “I think it should stay and it should be approved and everybody should be happy for them, it doesn’t hurt anybody.” She says it’s not just about equality but a matter of access to health insurance.
The Pflugerville Education Association has argued that this isn’t a stance on gay marriage because it benefits both gay and straight couples. A petition entitled “Pflugerville ISD Board of Trustees: Keep insurance benefits for all PISD employees and their families” talks about how the decision to add domestic partner benefits was recommended by the PISD insurance commission, a group of district employees. “These employees concluded that broadening benefits coverage not only was fair and financially sound but also would help the district recruit and retain world class educators. The change doesn’t cost district taxpayers one penny,” the petition says.
While opponents say the extension of benefits is the district’s attempt to take a stand on gay marriage, the PEA says this is “simply not true” and opponents are trying to turn this decision into something “it is not.”
By Lydia Pantazes