Supreme Court Rejects Appeal Of Texas Ruling Against Public Benefits For Gay Spouses

The court will not hear arguments as to why spouses of gay employees should receive the same benefits as those in straight relationships.

The U.S. Supreme Court declared on Monday that it will not review a decision by the Texas Supreme Court that questions same-sex couples’ rights to government-provided marriage benefits.

In June, the high court in Texas ruled that “the right to a marriage license did not entitle same-sex couples to spousal benefits under employee insurance plans,” arguing that the 2015 decision on marriage equality left some issues regarding same-sex marriage open to interpretation.

The city of Houston filed an appeal to the court’s decision in an attempt to provide spouses of gay employees the same government-subsidized marriage benefits it provides to spouses in opposite-sex marriages, but the Supreme Court has denied the request to look into the case.

Texas’ ruling found that there’s room for state courts to explore “the reach and ramifications” of new issues that pop up as a result of 2015’s same-sex marriage ruling.

Employers in Texas extended marriage benefits to spouses of gay and lesbian employees immediately following the Obergefell ruling, but conservative opponents argued that the historic case is too broad and that the right to marry doesn’t “entail any particular package of tax benefits, employee fringe benefits or testimonial privileges.”

Houston has continued to provide benefits to all of its married employees and their spouses while the issue has been in litigation.

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.
@adamsalandra