• Texas Family Project

Same Sex Marriage in Texas: Legal but Still Unequal

By Melissa D, Contributor

Texas Family Project

Texas politicians ushered in the Trump presidency with a resounding message rejecting LGBTQ+ rights.

In October of 2016, right before the election, Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed an amicus brief requesting the Texas Supreme Court reopen a case that they had previously decided not to take up. The case, Pidgeon vs. Turner, was brought by two anti-LGBTQ+ citizens of Houston who did not want their tax dollars to be used to pay for the benefits of same-sex spouses of married city employees. Abbott, Patrick, and Paxton argued that Obergefell vs. Hodges did not explicitly rule that cities are required to extend these benefits to same-sex spouses.

Unfortunately, the Texas Supreme Court agreed and reaffirmed that Obergefell “did not hold that states must provide the same publicly funded benefits to all married persons”. This position was again reinforced when the Supreme Court of the United States rejected to hear Pidgeon vs. Turner when it was brought before them, declining to content that the Texas Supreme Court ruled incorrectly.

While we have made strides toward equality in these first years of the 21st century it’s obvious we still have a long way to go to shake off the bigotry and injustice of the 20th.

We must elect leaders to every level of government who are committed to policies of equality for all Texas families.

This November we will have that chance.

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