Six DART board members have expressed their intention to vote in favor of domestic partner benefits for the agency’s gay and lesbian employees.
Five members voted in favor last week during an administrative committee meeting, passing the measure on to the full board. The board needs eight votes to pass the measure. It will meet Feb. 26 to discuss the issue and could vote as its next meeting March 12.
Rafael McDonnell with Resource Center Dallas said he’s encouraging the LGBT community to contact board members to tell them to vote for the DP benefits, as well as push for them to implement them immediately.
The proposed plan would extend the benefits to same- and opposite-sex couples no later than January 2014. But McDonnell said the agency is self-insured and could implement them as soon as a vote approves them.
“We’re close,” McDonnell said about the votes. “I feel really good about this, but we still have a lot of work to do.”
Former DART police officer Andrew Moss, who started a Change.org petition in July to urge the agency to add domestic partner benefits, said he’s glad the process is moving quickly. Moss’ husband still works for DART and could add him to his plan if the benefits are approved. His COBRA coverage ended in December, so he said he’d like the board to add the benefits before January.
“I would love for them to do it immediately just in the interest of fairness and equality,” he said, adding that the change would help a lot of people. “This doesn’t just benefit me.”
Contact information for DART board members can be found here.