Today the county commissioners voted to offer a stipend to unmarried and gay employees who provide health benefits to their partners. In order to get these benefits, according to the Morning News account, couples will have to sign an affidavit defining the relationship as a domestic partnership.
The move was approved by a party-line vote, with the ruling Democrats prevailing 3-2 over the Republicans.Â Commissioner Maurine Dickey is unhappy. She said:
the county was essentially creating a special pool of people for whom to provide separate benefits. She questioned whether commissioners should create special health care programs for obese people, smokers or people who drive blue Pontiacs made before 1978.
“This is not a gender issue,” she said. “In my opinion, this is an economic issue.”
After all this went down, Dickey got strangely self-conscious about a photographer in the room:
Dickey briefly put on her sunglasses when a speaker chastised her and fellow RepublicanÂ Mike Cantrell for opposing the policy. She later buried her head in her hands and stopped the proceedings to complain about an audience member taking her picture.
Dickey referred to the person as a man, but Democratic CommissionerÂ John Wiley Price repeatedly corrected his colleague and said the picture-taker was a woman.
The woman,Â C.D. Kirven ofÂ Get Equal Texas, said she was taking pictures of a friend who had been addressing the court and apologized to Dickey.
UPDATE: Now with video of Dickey hiding her face, via the Dallas Voice.