City of Houston dealt a blow by state's highest court over benefits to same-sex couples

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As far as some local attorneys like Mitchell Katine are concerned, the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken loud and clear.

“Well I was pretty shocked and saddened that Texas would ignore the Supreme Court just days after the Supreme Court made it clear that all marriages are to be treated equally,” Katine said.

But did the Supreme Court ruling specifically include tax-funded benefits?

Two taxpayers represented by same sex marriage opponents say no, causing the Texas Supreme Court to send the case back to the trial court.

“And when that happens, I think the trial court has no discretion other than to say that same-sex couples get same-sex benefits,” said FOX 26 Legal expert Chris Tritico.

“This is involving city benefits for city employees of married people,” said Katine.

Private companies can do whatever they want.

But like all municipalities, the city of Houston is using tax dollars to pay same-sex marriage benefits.

In a statement, Mayor Sylvester Turner says, ”The city is reviewing the decision and considering its options. In the meantime, the city of Houston’s policy to offer spousal benefits to all eligible employees will remain in effect.”

Katine’s take on The Texas Supreme Court ruling?

"A waste of time, a waste of resources and another opportunity for the Supreme Court to say, 'We really mean what we said. You guys down in Texas what the hell are you doing?'" Katine said.

“It’s really the same argument conservatives had with abortion,” Tritico said. “Every time there’s a new ruling they’ll find a new fight and it’s going to keep going because this to them is a moral issue not a legal or political issue.”

So what would it take to end all the running back and forth to court?

The Nation’s highest court recognizing homosexuality as a protected class.

 

Many legal experts believe it’s only a matter of time before the U.S. Supreme court does just that.

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