Texas Supreme Court denies benefits to married same-sex couples

Texas Supreme Court denies benefits to married same-sex couples

Texas Supreme Court denies benefits to married same-sex couples

As the Supreme Court held in Obergefell v. Hodges, the Constitution "entitles same-sex couples to civil marriage 'on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples.'" Indeed, just this week in Pavan v. Smith, the Court reaffirmed its holding that the benefits of marriage must be granted to same-sex couples "on the same terms and conditions as opposite-sex couples".

In that case, the court said it reversed the ruling because the "differential treatment infringes Obergefell " s commitment to provide same-sex couples "the constellation of benefits that the States have linked to marriage.'" The court also decided they would take up a case involving whether a Colorado baker can legally refuse to make a wedding cake for a gay couple because of religious objections.

The case was taken in response to the US Supreme Court's 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage and required governmental departments to allocate benefits to same-sex spouses of governmental employees.

Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker extended city benefits such as insurance coverage to all city employees who were married.

"The U.S. Supreme Court has made clear that marriage equality is settled law and requires states to treat married same-sex couples equally in every area of the law".

Friday's decision was a major reversal for the all-Republican Texas high court, which previously refused to even consider the benefits case after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution grants gay couples who want to marry "equal dignity in the eyes of the law".

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LGBT rights groups have said they meant to appeal all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if Texas courts decide against them. According to the court below, however, Arkansas need not extend that rule to similarly situated same-sex couples: The State need not, in other words, issue birth certificates including the female spouses of women who give birth in the State. As the State itself makes marriage all the more precious by the significance it attaches to it, exclusion from that status has the effect of teaching that gays and lesbians are unequal in important respects.

"This absurd contortion of the Obergefell ruling defies all logic and reason", said Kenneth Upton, senior counsel in LGBT rights legal group Lambda Legal's Dallas office. In a unanimous ruling that declined to instruct lower.

"Anti-LGBTQ activists will do anything possible to discriminate against our families".

Advocates are likely to push for the case to be appealed to federal courts.

The city did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but plaintiffs' attorney Jared Woodfill cheered the decision as "a huge win".

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