Several Dallas councilmembers called for a list of internal issues to be addressed where LGBT city employees are not treated equality compared to their heterosexual co-workers.
The request came Monday after two presentations before the Budget, Finance and Audit Committee, one on the financial benefits of marriage equality and one on the city’s 2002 nondiscrimination ordinance.
Theresa O’Donnell, interim assistant city manager, touched on many of the 1,138 rights same-sex coupes are denied without marriage, including health, tax, estate planning and death benefits.
Some of those benefits, like military and veteran benefits, are granted to legally married same-sex couples regardless of where they live, including Texas, which has a constitutional marriage amendment. Others, like Social Security, are limited to the state where the couple lives.
Councilman Jerry Allen, who chairs the committee, asked how the Supreme Court’s DOMA ruling allowing the federal government to recognize same-sex marriage complicated the issue by state.
John Rogers, assistant city attorney, said it complicates the matter greatly because for couples in different states “it’s going to be very, very confusing about what benefits and rights they can or can’t get” as the agencies over federal laws define what their policy will be.
“Marriage is a commitment but it’s a contract. It’s a commitment entering into a contract,” Allen said. “If you live in Texas, you don’t have the same rights that you would if you lived in Hawaii.”