Friday, August 11, 2017

Federal Suit By Houston Employees Seeks To Preserve Benefits For Same-Sex Couples

A suit was filed yesterday in a Texas federal district court by Houston city employees and their same-sex spouses seeking to preserve the same spousal benefits that are received by other city employees. In a decision handed down last month, the Texas Supreme Court kept alive a suit by Houston taxpayers challenging the city's extending spousal benefits to same-sex married couples. (See prior posting.) In the complaint (full text) filed yesterday in Freeman v. Turner, (SD TX, filed 8/10/2017), plaintiffs asked the federal district court to declare that the city may not rely on the Texas DOMA Statute and the Texas Marriage Amendment, which have previously been held unconstitutional by federal courts, to justify depriving city employees with same-sex spouses to to the same spousal benefits extended to other married employees. The complaint also asks the court to find that denial or withdrawal of such benefits would be unconstitutional under the equal protection and due process clauses. Texas Observer reports on the lawsuit.