The Texas Supreme Court said Friday that the parties needed a chance to argue the merits of a case over a Houston policy providing employees in same-sex marriages spousal benefits.
The Texas judges agreed with their challenge, saying: "The Supreme Court held in Obergefell that the Constitution requires states to license and recognize same-sex marriages 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, and it did not hold that the Texas [Defence of Marriage Acts, banning same-sex marriage] are unconstitutional".
This maneuver is an oblique way for Texas Supreme Court to defy Obergefell without acknowledging what it's doing. Texas law prohibits same-sex couples from receiving such benefits.
The Texas Supreme Court has questioned whether gay spouses are legally entitled to government-subsidized workplace benefits in a unanimous decision quickly condemned by gay-rights groups.
Justice Jeffrey Boyd, writing on behalf of the court in a 24-page opinion, said there's still room for state courts to explore the "reach and ramifications" of the U.S. Supreme Court's 2015 ruling in Obergefell v. Hodges.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a state court ruling allowing Arkansas to refuse to list both same-sex spouses on birth certificates, clarifying the scope of protections provided by its gay marriage decision.
There is no difference between same- and opposite-sex couples with respect to this principle.
"Extreme partisan politics has no place at the Texas Supreme Court and this decision is sure to damage the Texas brand and further tarnish the reputation of this state as being unwelcome and hostile to LGBTQ Texans".
- The Kenosha School Board will ask the US Supreme Court to hear a case on whether students should be able to use the correct bathroom if they happen to be transgender.
"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". 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.