Moss no longer works at DART and has stopped working for health reasons. His partner still works there so he could add Moss to his health insurance if DART offered DP benefits. He started a Change.org petition encouraging the agency to add the benefits, which has garnered 1,044 signatures.
DART contacted Moss two weeks ago after Instant Tea brought the petition to their attention, he said. Planning began for a meeting with him and Deputy Executive Director Jesse Oliver.
The following week, Resource Center Dallas sent a letter to DART officials to encourage them to offer DP benefits. Moss was told he could meet with Jesse Oliver Monday or Tuesday of this week.
He received a letter from Betty Bird, DART’s director of compensation and benefits stating there were no plans to change the healthcare coverage for employees. The letter states eligible dependents are unmarried children under 26 and spouses recognized under Texas law.
Moss said he called Bird Monday and was informed that Oliver had asked her to send him the letter because he had no intention of meeting with Moss to discuss the matter. That news was a surprise to Moss after DART had reached out to him for a meeting.
“I was so surprised because they told me that I would meet with him,” Moss said, adding that Oliver likely backed out of a meeting once he found out it was LGBT-related. “I think the opinion changed, that he was open at one point to a conversation until he realized it was about LGBT issues and domestic partner benefits.”
DART spokesman Morgan Lyons said the agency didn’t reach out to Moss, but he did request a meeting several times. He said Moss is not an employee any longer and a letter explaining the policy was sent to him, so “there was just no reason to meet with him.”
However, DART officials will meet with the Resource Center Dallas representatives and are working to schedule a time. Lyons said officials have met with RCD in the past and have granted a request for a meeting after they received a letter from the center last week.
RCD’s Rafael McDonnell said employees have not yet been contacted to set up a meeting with DART.
Moss said he’ll appeal to the Board of Directors to get the issue discussed and possibly voted on. In the meantime, he said he’ll work to gain more support from the LGBT community for the cause.
“DART has the opportunity and the power to do the right thing and be on the right side of civil rights,” he said. “There’s nothing stopping them from doing what’s right.”
View the letter below.