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EQTX Statement on Turner v Pidgeon
Posted on December 4, 2017 at 10:11 pm

The United States Supreme Court will not get involved in a case addressing whether or not gay spouses of government employees are entitled to government-subsidized workplace benefits.

This stems from a case involving the city of Houston. In Turner v Pidgeon, the city’s policy allowing same-sex spouses of city employees was called into question by two residents who argued that the taxpayers should not pay for benefits that are not required by law.

The U.S. Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage in a landmark case in 2015, called Obergefell v. Hodges.

SCOTUS’ decision not to review Houston’s appeal means the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling that calls for an exploration of the “reach and ramifications” of the country’s same-sex marriage law will likely occur in a lower court.

Statement from Equality Texas CEO, Chuck Smith:

Monday’s decision doesn’t create law, and it doesn’t change law. Any employer that offers benefits to married people, they need to continue to offer those benefits on the same terms and conditions regardless of the gender of the couples. SCOTUS was abundantly clear in their ruling that they weren’t just talking about the performance of a marriage ceremony, they were in fact talking about all of the benefits that flow from the institution of marriage. The outcome of any lower court hearing should be clear: the Obergefell decision is the law of the land. We will not go backward.

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