Texas Supreme Court denies spousal benefits to same-sex couples

In a decision issued Friday, a Republican-dominated Texas Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples are not entitled to the same government spousal benefits as opposite-sex couples.
By David Sims | Jul 03, 2017
In a decision issued Friday, a Republican-dominated Texas Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples are not entitled to the same government spousal benefits as opposite-sex couples.

While the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges made same-sex marriage the law of the land n 2015, it did not specifically resolve the issue of marriage benefits.

"The Supreme Court held in Obergefell that the Constitution requires states to license and recognize same-sex marriages to the same extent that they license and recognize opposite-sex marriages," wrote the Texas court, as reported by NBC News, "but it did not hold that states must provide the same publicly funded benefits to all married persons."

Groups representing the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people argue that the Texas ruling goes against the intent of Obergefell.

"This absurd contortion of the Obergefell ruling defies all logic and reason," said Kenneth Upton, senior counsel for Lambda Legal in Dallas, in the NBC News report.

In a decision issued Monday, the nation's highest court gave some indication of how it might rule when the Texas decision is appealed.

In that case, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned an Arkansas ruling that allowed the state to refuse to list both same-sex spouses on birth certificates, suggesting the court intends the full spectrum of marriage benefits to be extended to same-sex couples.

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