USA top court leaves in place Texas ruling questioning gay spousal benefits

USA top court leaves in place Texas ruling questioning gay spousal benefits

Even the Texas Supreme Court agreed, rejecting the case when it came to it in September 2016.

The justice said although Floyd's framing of the arguments in his petition undercut his request for review, in any other context "courts reviewing claims in circumstances like these must be steadfast in identifying, investigating, and correcting for improper bias in the jury selection process".

Sarah Kate Ellis, president of the advocacy organization GLAAD, predicted that Monday's action will open the door to "an onslaught of challenges to the rights of LGBTQ people at every step".

The high court's action set no nationwide precedent but may give a boost to conservative legal efforts to limit the effects of its decision in the case Obergefell v. Hodges that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to gay couples under the U.S. Constitution.

A state appeals court responded by allowing Houston to offer spousal benefits to same-sex couples, saying the ruling ended the controversy in the city benefits case.

USA top court leaves in place Texas ruling questioning gay spousal benefits
USA top court leaves in place Texas ruling questioning gay spousal benefits

In its decision, the Texas Supreme Court noted that Obergefell requires states to license and recognize same-sex marriages just as they do opposite-sex marriages but did not hold that "states must provide the same publicly funded benefits to all married persons".

"Marriage equality is the law of the land, and everyone is entitled to the full benefits of marriage, regardless of the gender of their spouse", he said.

The Texas court reversed its earlier decision to stay out of the case after coming under pressure from Gov. Greg Abbott and other leading Republicans.

The case of Masterpiece Cakeshop versus Colorado Civil Rights Commission began five years ago when Charlie Craig and Dave Mullins asked Phillips to make a cake for their wedding reception.

The ruling returned the lawsuit to a Houston district court to determine whether the U.S. Supreme Court's marriage ruling applies to spousal benefits provided by Houston. The ruling found that there's still room for state courts to explore "the reach and ramifications" of marriage-related issues that resulted from the legalization of same-sex marriage. That led the 14th Court of Appeals to allow the same-sex spousal benefits, under the argument that Obergefell had settled it. "We're grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed our lawsuit to go forward", Saenz said.

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