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Judge: Houston Cannot Provide Benefits to Same Sex Partners of City Employees

Judge: Houston Cannot Provide Benefits to Same Sex Partners of City Employees

  A State District Judge in Houston has ordered that city to stop providing benefits to the same sex partners of city employees, even if the same sex couples were married in a state where gay marriage is legal, 1200 WOAI news reports.

 

  San Antonio also provides benefits to the same sex partners of city employees, as well as employees of SAWS and CPS Energy.  This ruling only affects Houston.

 

  A team of lawyers led by Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill and Jonathan Saenz, the head of the conservative group Texas Values filed the lawsuit.

 

  "This is an important victory for the Texas Constitution, the rule of law, and government accountability," Saenz said.  "Mayor Parker is not above the law and this court ruling should be a strong reminder statewide that if any other elected official or government employee attempts to violate the Texas Constitution and state law on marriage, there will be consequences."

 

  The judge ruled that the 2005 Amendment to the Texas Constitution, which defines marriage as between one man and one woman, overturns Houston Mayor Annise Parker's decision earlier this week to begin providing the benefits to 'spouses' of employees who obtained a marriage license in another state.

 

  "Mayor Parker and the City of Houston have violated the law by providing a benefit resulting from a marriage between persons of the same sex recognized in a state other than Texas," the judge ruled.

 

  A lawsuit is currently making its way through the federal court in San Antonio to declare the 2005 amendment illegal and allow gay marriage in Texas.

 

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