Supreme Court Gives ‘Early Christmas Present’
December 04, 2017
By refusing to hear the case, the high court is allowing a lower court decision to stand. That decision determined that the Obergefell v. Hodges decision did not automatically entitle same-sex married couples to the same benefits heterosexual couples receive, such as taxpayer-funded insurance benefits for government employees.
Because the matter was unresolved by the Supreme Court, jurisprudence allowed state courts to chart their own course. The timing of Houston’s benefits also played a role in the decision.
Then-Houston Mayor Annise Parker began offering the benefits in 2013, nearly two years before the Obergefell decision was handed down. As a result, same-sex marriage was still illegal in Texas, making the distribution of those benefits illegal to the Texas justices.
The Supreme Court decision to not hear the case was reported without comment. However, Jonathan Saenz, president of Texas Values—a pro-family group that directly opposed Parker’s efforts—called it “an incredible early Christmas present” from the high court.