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El Paso City Officials Ignore Voters and Force Domestic Partnership Benefits

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El Paso, Texas - Liberty Counsel has filed a motion to intervene in a case being heard today involving benefits for homosexual partners of city employees. Liberty Counsel represents El Pasoans for Traditional Family Values (EPTFV) and several city voters who oppose the city's repeated attacks on marriage and family. The actions of the named defendant, the City of El Paso, thus far have been contrary to the position of the vast majority of its residents, who recently voted to repeal the "domestic partnership" benefits improperly added by the city.

 Shortly after the El Paso City Council voted to provide benefits to same-sex partners of employees, EPTFV drafted an ordinance and successfully mounted a petition drive to put the matter before a vote of the people. The referendum passed and benefits were limited to employees, their legal spouses and dependants. But that was not the end of the matter.

 Persons in a domestic partnership and supporters of the original ordinance filed a lawsuit, claiming the new ordinance is "unconstitutional, illegal, void and of no legal force." The suit named only the city as a defendant and not EPTFV, the sponsor of the initiative. The city has refused to defend the legal action and simply consented to an extended temporary injunction that requires the city to ignore the law passed by citizen referendum. The injunction was entered imprudently and without adequate bond.

 The lawsuit is without legal basis and contrary to Texas's statewide marriage amendment, which both protects marriage and explicitly states: "This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage." The laws of Texas and the rights of its citizens who have properly petitioned government to protect the laws of Texas are being thwarted. Liberty Counsel is seeking to intervene on behalf of EPTFV to defend the people, which El Paso officials refuse to do.

Mathew Staver, Founder of Liberty Counsel and Dean of Liberty University School of Law, commented: "El Paso city officials apparently believe they are above the law. They are serving only themselves, not the people they represent, and certainly not the Constitution they are sworn to uphold. When government officials ignore the rule of law and become the law, they undermine the people's trust in government and sow the seeds of tyranny."

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Nelson Propane

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