Texas Supreme Court:Spousal Benefits for Same Sex Couples Can be Restricted

Celebrations Take Part Across Country As Supreme Court Rules In Favor Of Gay Marriage

The Texas Supreme Court ruled today that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that same sex marriage is legal, but it did not rule that taxpayers have to pay for it, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The justices ruled in a case stemming from the decision in 2013 by the City of Houston, before the U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell ruling legalizing same sex marriage, which extended the city's employee benefits to partners of either gender, and to couples who had been married in jurisdictions which then allowed it.  When same sex marriage was legalized and the couples married in Texas, those benefits were extended to them.

The decision was appealed by two Houston residents who say they are devout Christians who oppose the idea of having their tax dollars used to fund and support an activity they consider to be immoral.

In the conclusion of the case, the justices said that Obergefell was 'just the beginning' in a series of legal debates over same sex marriage.  

Currently, political battles are raging over whether certain professions, like bakers and florists, should be exempted from providing products or services to same sex weddings.

The Supreme Court sent the case back to a lower court, with instructions that the issue be considered in light of its new guidance.

This does not mean that same sex partners will automatically be denied benefits, that will be decided by lower courts.

The Gay and Lesbian Advocacy group GLAAD responded with this statement:

"The  Texas Supreme Court’s decision this morning is a warning shot to all  LGBTQ Americans that the war on marriage equality is ever-evolving, and  anti-LGBTQ activists will do anything possible to discriminate against  our families. In the age of the Trump Administration, which continues to  systematically erase LGBTQ Americans from the fabric of this nation,  the LGBTQ community and our allies must remain visible and push back  harder than ever against attacks on acceptance.”

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