Texas Supreme Court throws out ruling that favored same-sex marriage benefits

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

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

The Texas Supreme Court's decision to reverse the lower court's ruling offering marriage benefits to same sex couples is not the end of the matter. But when the news first broke, USA Today, for example, tweeted, "The Supreme Court has agreed to reopen the national debate over same-sex marriage".

For example, in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court case that finally declared marriage for same-sex couples to be a civil right, almost 150 "friend of the court" briefs were filed.

"The Texas Supreme Court's courage is praiseworthy in light of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision this week in Pavan v. Smith, which extended Obergefell to apply to birth certificates", added Matt Clark, one of the Foundation's attorneys. The unanimous opinion sends the case challenging the Houston's provision of benefits back to trial court but does not prevent the city from continuing to offer employment benefits to same-sex spouses.

Such a decision makes no sense if you understand the Texas Supreme Court as a court that is trying to resolve legal cases in a timely and efficient manner - but it does make flawless sense if you understand its justices as political actors.

Those who opposed the marriage benefits policy over moral and tax related concerns, such as Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values, celebrated the court's ruling.

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.

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This court ruling has not resonated well with LGBTQ advocates, many of whom have pledged to take a stand against the decision. They also faced pressure from Texas GOP leadership - spearheaded by Gov.

That request to the court came more than a year after state agencies moved to extend benefits to spouses of married gay and lesbian employees just days after the high court's ruling. Texas law prohibits same-sex couples from receiving such benefits.

However, the Texas justices held that it is up to the state to define the "reach and ramifications" of the ruling.

The Court sent the appeals court ruling back to the lower court for review.

"I'm extremely pleased that the Texas Supreme Court recognized that Texas law is still important when it comes to marriage", Paxton said in a statement. Equality Texas called it "patently indefensible", and Lambda Legal said it "defies all logic and reason".

Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD said: "The Texas Supreme Court's decision this morning is 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".

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