Texas Supreme Court denies benefits to married same-sex couples

Texas Supreme Court Rules That Married Gay Couples Have No Right to Government Spousal Benefits

The Supreme Court held in Obergefell that the Constitution requires states to license and recognize same-sex marriages to the same extent that they license and recognize opposite-sex marriages, but it did not hold that states must provide the same publicly funded benefits to all married persons ...

To respect precedent and the rule of law, the court should have held that Obergefell requires the government to treat all marriages the same regardless of the sex of the spouses.

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday held that the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges doesn't resolve a fight over a Houston policy granting spousal benefits to city employees in same-sex marriages and that lower courts are entitled to fully explore Obergefell's reach.

In a unanimous decision, the Texas court reversed a lower court's ruling upholding the city of Houston's decision to extend benefits to the same-sex spouses of city employees, and sent the case back to the lower court to be retried.

- The Kenosha School Board will ask the US Supreme Court to hear a case on whether students should be able to use the correct bathroom if they happen to be transgender.

"Equality Texas is hopeful that the City of Houston will appeal this horrendous decision to the United States Supreme Court in order to ensure equality for the marriages of all Texans".


As this Court explained in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Constitution entitles same-sex couples to civil marriage "on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples".

The Texas Supreme Court's decision does not outright declare that these two "devout Christians" should win this case, but it does keep their suit alive by claiming that Obergefell left open an unresolved question.

LGBT rights groups have said they meant to appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if Texas courts decide against them. In Pavan, the court clarified that all rights associated with marriage-not just marriage licensing itself-must be afforded to same-sex couples. It has been welcomed by conservatives, with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton saying that the decision "recognized that Texas law is still important when it comes to marriage", the Statesman reports. Naturally, the parties did not raise their current arguments in the trial court or in the court of appeals, and neither court ruled on them.

LGBT advocates on Friday were enraged by the Texas court's ruling.

Sarah Kate Ellis, the CEO of LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD, said: "The LGBTQ community and our allies must remain visible and push back harder than ever against attacks on acceptance".

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