BREAKING: Texas Supreme Court Rules Married Gays Have No Inherent Right To Government Benefits

The Austin Statesman reports:

A unanimous Texas Supreme Court concluded Friday that there is no inherent right to government-provided spousal benefits in same-sex marriages. The 2015 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that established the right to same-sex marriage did not decide all marriage-related matters, leaving room for state courts to explore the decision’s “reach and ramifications,” the Texas court said.

Supporters of gay marriage have vowed to appeal such a ruling to the federal courts, arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court clearly stated that all marriages must be treated equally. The case arose out of then-Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s 2013 decision to grant benefits to same-sex spouses of city employees who had married in other states. While an appeal from Houston was pending, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its June 2015 opinion that overturned state bans on gay marriage, prompting the appeals court to lift the injunction.

More from the Texas Tribune:

The decision by the Texas Supreme Court to take up the case was regarded as an unusual move because it had previously declined to take it up last year. That allowed a lower court decision, which upheld benefits for same-sex couples, to stand. But the state’s highest civil court reversed course in January after receiving an outpouring of letters opposing the decision. They also faced pressure from Texas GOP leadership — spearheaded by Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton — who asked the court to clarify that Obergefell does not include a “command” to public employers regarding employee benefits.