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Tuesday, April 30, 2013 - 11:24am
EL PASO — Local governments and school districts that offer marriage benefits to same sex partners may be violating the state constitution, according to Texas Attorney General Greg Abbot.
Abbott was asked to issue an opinion after a state senator from Houston argued the Texas constitution defines marriage as between a man and a woman and prohibits government entities from recognizing anything similar to marriage.
El Paso is one of three Texas cities that offers benefits to partners of same sex employees.
Only one school district in the state offers same sex partner benefits and that's in Pflugerville.
The El Paso city attorney's office responded to the opinion Monday stressing that attorney general opinions are simply advisory.
"The opinion does not determine whether providing the benefits, standing alone, might create or recognize a legal status in violation of the texas constitution."