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Supreme Court declines to hear Texas same-sex marriage benefits case

[JURIST] The US Supreme Court on Monday let stand [order list, PDF] a Texas Supreme Court ruling that did not extend spousal benefits to same-sex couples under employee insurance plans.

The case began in 2013 when Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks sued the city of Houston after the city's mayor gave municipal spousal benefits, health and life insurance, to same-sex married couples. In 2015 the US Supreme Court overturned the ban on same-sex marriage. Texas' 14th Court of Appeals said the ruling ended Pidgeon and Hicks' case and the city was allowed to offer spousal benefits to same-sex couples. In 2016 the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the US Supreme Court decision "did not hold that states must provide the same publicly funded benefits to all married persons." The city appealed the case, which was denied by the US Supreme Court.

The case will now proceed in Texas state court to decide whether the benefits in Houston should be stopped for same-sex couples. Houston has continued to provide benefits to all of its married employees through-out the pending litigation.

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