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Texas Supreme Court Accepts Lower Court LGBT Benefits Decision

The Texas Supreme Court has decided not to review a lower court’s decision that prohibits denying married same-sex couples city employment benefits that heterosexual couples receive.

The case was initiated before the landmark Obergefell v. Hodges decision and tried to stop cities such as Houston from being required to recognize same-sex marriages issued in other states. This would mean that the spouses and children of gay city employees could be denied benefits that heterosexual employees spouses and children are entitled to.

The lower court decided that since Obergefell v. Hodges allows same sex couples to marry, it also extends to same-sex couples receiving the same marriage benefits that heterosexual couples receive. Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine issued a dissenting opinion in which he claims that the court should have heard the case and that this is an issue that should be left to voters. He argues that this is a separate issue from the right to marry and views the decision as an overreach by the courts.

In his dissent, Devine says that “Texas, as it allocates benefits to employees’ spouses, may recognize the differences between same- and opposite-sex spouses. To withhold this decision from the people is to undermine precedent, democracy, and the limited role of courts in our nation.”

None of the state’s other eight justices signed on to Devine’s dissent.

Even though same-sex marriage has been legalized nationwide, it still faces a great deal of opposition. The Houston family law attorneys of Holmes, Diggs & Sadler have worked with LGBT marriage equality issues for years and will continue to explore the impact of legal same-sex marriage.

If you are facing marriage discrimination due to your sexual orientation, we may be able to help. Call our knowledgeable and experienced family law attorneys today at (713) 802-1777.


Texas federal judge regards ban on gay marriage as unconstitutional

A Texas federal judge ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriages is unconstitutional, The Guardian reported on Wednesday, February 26.

In his 48-page decision, U.S. district judge Orlando Garcia stated that Texas’ injunction on gay marriages is in discord with the U.S. Constitution’s mandate of due process and equal rights. The judge further stated that the ban degrades the dignity of gay couples with no legitimate basis.

On the other hand, Texas governor Rick Perry has opposed the judge’s decision, arguing that the majority of Texans decided that marriage is a union between a man and a woman.

An experienced and knowledgeable lawyer adept in the ever-changing landscape of LGBT family law can help gay couples deal with legal matters surrounding their relationship, such as domestic partnership and cohabitation agreements. Our lawyers from Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, are willing to help LGBT couples in Houston with such legal needs. Call us at (713) 802-1777 to discuss your situation today.


TX still denies marriage benefits to same-sex couples

Homosexual couples from the Texas National Guard are still being deprived of federal marriage benefits as the state recently denied granting a federal housing allowance to a married lesbian couple.

American Military Partner Association spokeswoman Chris Rowzee asserted that the state’s denial of granting federal marriage benefits to married homosexual couples is “discriminatory and illegal,” arguing that a federal benefit such as a housing loan should not be barred by the state.

The Defense Department earlier released policies allowing same-sex couples who are members of the military service to be entitled for the same benefits as heterosexual couples. However, these policies go against Texas’ current ruling that bans the recognition of same sex marriage.

Texas laws concerning LGBT marriages are constantly being affected by factors, such as federal and state amendments, making it critical to have legal support when dealing with any family law or divorce issues. At Holmes, Diggs & Sadler, our Houston-based attorneys are versed in the most current laws and can help you. Call us at (713) 802-1777.

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