U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear gay ‘spousal’ benefits case
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 11, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Texas businesses will not be forced to give spousal benefits to employees in same-sex “marriages” after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear the issue.
The city of Houston, Texas, sought to overturn a state Supreme Court ruling allowing for the elimination of spousal insurance benefits to same-sex spouses of city employees, but the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear their appeal.
The Texas court had ruled in June that while the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision required states to recognize same-sex “marriage,” the high court “did not hold that states must provide the same publicly funded benefits to all married persons.”
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton summed up the meaning of the court’s decision at the time, saying, “While the U.S. Supreme Court declared a right to same-sex marriage, that ruling did not resolve all legal issues related to marriage.”
The ruling was “a huge win for Houston taxpayers and for those who support the state’s marriage laws,” added Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values. “We are not aware of any other case like this in the nation, which is why today’s action by the Supreme Court and defeat for the city of Houston is highly significant.”
State and national LGBT activist organizations saw the state Supreme Court’s ruling as out of line with the spirit of Obergefell.
GLAAD’s president, Sarah Kate Ellis, reacted in June, “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.”
Upon learning that SCOTUS had declined to hear the case, Ellis predicted “an onslaught of challenges to the rights of LGBTQ people at every step.” She added, “The Supreme Court has just let an alarming ruling by the Texas Supreme Court stand which plainly undercuts the rights of married same-sex couples.”
Saenz, pleased with the rejection of appeal, said, “What an incredible early Christmas present from the U.S. Supreme Court.”
“The court's action should not be seen as the final word, but instead is just another milepost on the road to understanding what benefit plan rights are part of same-gender marriages," said Dallas attorney James Griffin. "Even the Supreme Court knows that it will likely see this case again.”
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