Texas County Changes Domestic Partner Rules For Employees

EL PASO (July 23, 2013)—El Paso County has modified its employee health plan by changing the language in the policy to remove references to gay couples and domestic partners in order to make the plan "legally defensible."

The new language refers to a "plus one" program, set to begin next year, in which employees can include another adult in the plan, as long as certain requirements are met.

El Paso County Judge Veronica Escobar told The Associated Press on Tuesday the change was made to avoid lawsuits.

The county was sued after Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued a nonbinding opinion in May that the Texas Constitution doesn't permit a legal status for domestic partnerships or allow for public benefits based on it.

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