Texas Supreme Court Strikes Down Gay Marriage Benefits Ruling

Ariel Schalit    
  AP

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that same-sex couples do not have to provide spousal benefits to married gay couples. This came to light after a Houston case challenged a benefits policy recently.

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.

Supporters of gay marriage have vowed to appeal such a ruling to the federal courts, arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court clearly stated that all marriages must be treated equally.

Woodfill said he intends to ask for another injunction preventing the city from providing same-sex benefits and requiring Houston to "claw back" benefits paid to employees' same-sex spouses before Obergefell.

Bill to replace housing block cladding after Grenfell disaster 'could top £600m'
He told me his family were just fed up, that they desperately wanted to go home, but had no idea when that might be. I would also urge everyone to fit smoke alarms in their homes and test them regularly", he added.

Already, the [U.S.] Supreme Court has taken one opportunity to address Obergefell's impact on an issue it did not address in Obergefell, and there will undoubtedly be others. That allowed the lower court decision to stand.

Gexydaf/flickrA case about compeling someone to design a wedding cake is about free expression, not opposition to gay marriage. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov.

The case was taken by two men who objected to Houston's decision to comply with the Obergefell decision because they are "devout Christians who have been compelled by the mayor's unlawful edict to subsidize homosexual relationships that they regard as immoral and sinful". As of August 31, 584 same-sex spouses had enrolled in insurance plans - including health, dental or life insurance - subsidized by the state, according to a spokeswoman for the Employees Retirement System, which oversees benefits for state employees. "Of course, that does not mean ... that the city may constitutionally deny benefits to its employees' same-sex spouses". In the decision below, the Arkansas Supreme Court considered the effect of that holding on the State's rules governing the issuance of birth certificates. 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.

Sarah Kate Ellis, president and chief executive of GLAAD, an LGBT rights group, called the Texas ruling a "warning shot to all LGBTQ Americans that the war on marriage equality is ever-evolving, and anti-LGBTQ activists will do anything possible to discriminate against our families". A spokesman for Houston mayor Sylvester Turner did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the possibility of an appeal.

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