Lesbian couple sues Employee Retirement System of Texas for denying health coverage

Mon, Jun 15, 2015 - 11:42am

While Texas’ battle to prohibit same-sex marriage continues to be waged in federal courts, a gay couple has opted not to wait on the final outcome, filing suit against the state on Thursday for denying health care coverage.

Through Lambda Legal, Deborah Leliaert and Paula Woolworth filed suit against the board of trustees for the Employee Retirement System of Texas on June 11 in the U.S. District Court for Western Texas, Austin Division.

A national organization, Lambda Legal represents the rights of the gay community through...

Same-Sex Couple Suing Employee Retirement System of Texas Over Spousal Health Insurance Coverage

Mon, Jun 15, 2015 - 11:41am

A same-sex couple is suing the Employee Retirement System of Texas. The federal suit seeks spousal health insurance coverage.

The University of North Texas did not provide coverage for the same-sex spouse of a university administrator. According to the couple, the university cited Texas marriage laws as the reason.

Without the spousal health benefits, the couple has to buy a second policy.

"Every day, I go to work and I look around me at the University of North Texas, and I see my colleagues who have different sex partners, insuring them, and not having the same financial burden I have," said Deborah Liliaert...

Lambda Legal Sues To Force Texas Officials To Comply With Upcoming SCOTUS Marriage Ruling

Fri, Jun 12, 2015 - 12:10pm

Lambda Legal has launched a pre-emptive strike against Texas officials who want to defy a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in favor of same-sex marriage. 

The group filed a lawsuit Thursday on behalf of a lesbian state employee against the Employee Retirement System of Texas, seeking equal benefits for same-sex spouses. 

Deborah Leliaert (right) is the vice president for university relations and planning at the University of North Texas. Leliaert and her wife, Paula Woolworth, have been together 14 years and were married in California in 2008. However, when Leliaert tried to enroll Woolworth in spousal...

Convention center talks revived

Tue, Jun 9, 2015 - 7:55am

Rumors of the reincarnation of a convention center deal for Denton appear mostly true.

Mayor Chris Watts repeated Monday what he told business leaders during a Chamber of Commerce luncheon last week: A convention center could come to a spot on the city’s west side.

Talks between O’Reilly Hospitality Management and RED Development, the builder of Rayzor Ranch, are far enough along that Watts expects to see the matter on a City Council agenda in the coming weeks.

“It’s time to start having a conversation about how we would structure the incentives,” Watts said. “The city’s contribution is paramount.”


TWU, UNT funds upped

Mon, Jun 8, 2015 - 11:18am

Local universities will have more money for building maintenance in 2016, as long as Gov. Greg Abbott signs a bill allocating that money through the Higher Education Assistance Fund.

Next academic year, Texas Woman’s University will get $9.9 million from the fund, and the University of North Texas will get $25 million. In 2016-17, the amounts will be bumped up to $37.6 million for UNT and $14.8 million for TWU.

“In the second year of the biennium, our higher education allotment will go up by 50 percent, and that [amount] will continue for the next nine years,” Kevin Cruser, who oversees governmental relations for...