The US Supreme Court rejected to hear Houston’s appeal of the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling on gay spousal benefits on Monday (4 December).
A lower court in the state ruled in favor of government-subsidized workplace benefits for gay spouses.
However, in June, the state’s Supreme Court overturned this decision. According to reports, initially the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear this case following the US Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges 2015 decision.
After pressure from conservative figures like Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton, they consented to hear the case and overturned the decision.
Houston appealed this decision to the US Supreme Court, but they rejected hearing the case. This allows the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling to stand, leaving the issue in question.
‘With all eyes on tomorrow’s oral arguments in the Masterpiece Cakeshop religious exemptions case, 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,’ said Sarah Kate Ellis, President and CEO of GLAAD.
‘Today’s abnegation by the nation’s highest court opens the door for an onslaught of challenges to the rights of LGBTQ people at every step.’
With the 2015 ruling for marriage equality, Houston began offering equal benefits to both opposite-sex and same-sex couples, including benefits. They will continue to do so as the case progresses.