Texas A&M faculty senate backs DP benefits

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Texas A&M University’s faculty senate voted overwhelmingly Monday to endorse health benefits for the same-sex partners of employees. With about 60 faculty senators present, only one voted against the proposal, according to the The Eagle of Bryan/College Station.

“[It's] sending a strong signal to the university general counsel, Board of Regents and others that this is what we want to make this a stronger university,” said Ramona Paetzold, chair of the senate’s Personnel and Welfare Committee.

The resolution approved by the faculty senate calls for the A&M system’s  governing authority to create a beneficiary category that would cover domestic partners. The resolution suggests a “plus one” category, which would allow employees to cover an additional person based on financial dependence. The “plus one” category might avoid running afoul of Texas’ marriage ban, as well as state insurance law defining dependents as spouses and children.

The A&M vote comes one week after the University of Texas’ College of Liberal Arts unanimously approved a resolution, signed by all 21 academic chairs, calling for the school to offer DP benefits.

—  John Wright