Tom Brown

El Paso County became only the second county in Texas to offer domestic partner benefits after the Commissioners Court approved offering the benefits to gay and unmarried couples Monday.

Commissioners approved DP benefits 3-1 during a vote in the morning meeting, ABC-7 reports.

Estimated annual cost for the benefits is $23,905. Domestic partners can be of the same or opposite sex but must be at least 18 years old and have lived together for at least one year.

The El Paso City Council passed DP benefits in 2009 and again in 2011 after a repeal effort by pastor Tom Brown overturned the decision.

Domestic partner benefits for El Paso County employees were first proposed in 2009 but the vote was postponed and later deleted as an agenda item. In 2011, the motion failed to pass.

Travis County currently offers DP benefits. Cities in Texas that offer DP benefits are Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and El Paso. Dallas County Judge  Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins recently told Dallas Voice he hopes to add DP benefits this year.

Those who wish to enroll for the benefits in El Paso County must also submit three of the following documents: common ownership of a motor vehicle, driver’s licenses listing a common address, proof of joint bank accounts or credit accounts, designation as property power of attorney or health care power of attorney, designation as the primary beneficiary for life insurance, retirement benefits or primary beneficiary designation under a partner’s will.