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Bloomberg: Texas Tries to Revoke Some Gay-Marriage Rights


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Texas Tries to Revoke Some Gay-Marriage Rights


The Texas Supreme Court has agreed to reconsider a case about whether married gay city employees must be given spousal benefits. That’s a terrible sign. The briefs openly urge the court to resist the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark gay marriage decision by reading it narrowly to say that gay people have a fundamental right to marry but no right to equal benefits. It’s a legally deceptive argument, which the current justices in Washington would summarily reject. But it’s dangerous all the same, because it shows that Donald Trump’s election is spurring outright resistance to federal law and precedent. And the Texas justices, who are elected, have no excuse for agreeing to reconsider the case.


The case, Pidgeon v. Turner, arose from a lawsuit trying to block the benefits that the city of Houston affords to the same-sex spouses of city employees. The case had no legal chance of success once the U.S. Supreme Court decided Obergefell v. Hodges in 2015. That decision held both that marriage is a fundamental right and that the equal protection guarantee of the U.S. Constitution requires that it be extended equally to gay and straight couples.


The Texas lower courts rejected the attack on the Houston benefits and, in September, the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear the case by a vote of 8-1. Only one justice, John Devine, dissented. The essence of his position was: Marriage is a fundamental right. Spousal benefits are not. Thus, the two issues are distinct.


Yet after Trump’s election, the same court that had refused to hear the case reversed course and agreed to reconsider it.


The best explanation for the flip is that the Texas court of elected justices is sensing the mood of the state -- and maybe the country. It’s anticipating that a Supreme Court with at least two Trump nominees could reverse Obergefell. And it wants to signal in some way that it’s on the “right” -- i.e. wrong -- side of constitutional history. It still hasn’t issued an opinion, of course, but the grant of rehearing is not a good sign.


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spurring outright resistance to federal law and precedent. 


Wait, isn't that what SSM proponents did? 

I'm shocked at the audacity....shocked I say. :evil:


add..the brief



it does bring up interesting conflicts since males and females are treated differently under some laws


I look forward to clarity from the courts.

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  • 5 months later...
Just now, twa said:

spousal benefits are outdated and probably misogynistic anyway.



That's an entirely different argument. Conservatives are welcome to argue that no spousal supports are unconstitutional and no one should have them.

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2 hours ago, LadySkinsFan said:

I see a U.S. Supreme Court challenge in Texas' future.


So do they.  That's the point.  Put some "strict constitutionalists" on the court, and hope that you can get your bigotry approved by some different judges.  


Might even work.  (And even if it doesn't, the folks in Texas get to look good to their base.)  


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