The Texas Supreme Court on Friday ruled
that married gay couples are not entitled to some benefits.
In an unanimous decision, the
all-Republican court sided with opponents of marriage equality who
sought to stop Houston from extending benefits to the spouses of gay
and lesbian employees.
The state's highest court threw out a
lower court ruling that had sided with the city and sent the case
back to a lower court.
“The Supreme Court held in Obergefell
that the Constitution requires states to license and recognize
same-sex marriage 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,” Justice
Jeffrey Boyd wrote for the court.
The high court agreed to hear the case
after their initial refusal prompted a backlash from Republicans.
The case was filed by Texas Values, an
Austin-based group opposed to LGBT rights.
“[T]he current [US] Supreme Court
will continue to use its power to advance the ideology of the sexual
revolution until there is a change of membership,” the group said
in its motion to rehear, adding that several federal court rulings
threaten “the religious freedom of those who oppose homosexual
Top Republican leaders – Governor
Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken
Paxton – also called on the high court to reconsider, saying in a
separate filing that the case provides an opportunity to undermine
Obergefell, the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that struck down
state laws and constitutional amendments that limit marriage to
heterosexual couples. Texas was among the sates directly affected by
It should be noted that in Obergefell,
the Supreme Court said that gay couples are entitled to the
“constellation of benefits that the state has linked to marriage.”