Denied: Houston Mayor, City Lose Again on Same Sex Marriage, Benefits
August 28, 2014 – Late yesterday, a federal court judge ruled against the City of Houston and lesbian mayor Annise Parker, in a case about Mayor Parker trying to force same-sex benefits on the city in violation of state law. Earlier in the case, which began in late 2013, a state district court judge ordered Mayor Parker and the City of Houston to “cease and desist” from recognizing same sex marriage and providing benefits to same sex couples married in other states. Mayor Parker then attempted to move the case to federal court to avoid the state court decision. However, Judge Rosenthal ruled late yesterday that the federal court “does not have jurisdiction over this case” and ordered that the case be sent back to state court, where a continued ruling against recognition of same-sex marriage and benefits is expected. The federal and state court lawsuits are being handled by a team of lawyers led by Jared Woodfill, along with Jonathan Saenz, president and attorney for Texas Values.
Statement from Jonathan Saenz, president and attorney of Texas Values.
“We are pleased that Mayor Parker’s self-serving efforts to defy justice have been stopped again. It’s clear that Mayor Parker and the City of Houston will do almost anything to avoid following Texas law on marriage issues, even if that means continuing to waste tax dollars in court on issues that have already been resolved by Texas voters and Texas state courts. Mayor Parker has lost her control of this issue, lost the confidence of the people and now she has lost another court decision, and rightly so.”
Find the decision attached.
Erlier this month, Mayor Parker lost in another effort to move a court case related to homosexual issues, from state court to federal court, after Houston voters presented over 55,000 petition signatures to repeal the Mayor’s LGBT bathroom ordinance and a state court judge stopped enforcement of the ordinance. Under immense public pressure, Mayor Parker and the City have continued to lose ground on this issue as well and have now agreed to not enforce the LGBT ordinance until the court battle concludes, sometime in 2015.
In addition to clear Texas law, Houston’s own city charter passed by the citizens in 2001 prohibits the city from offering benefits to same sex couples. Although the Texas Supreme Court is currently reviewing the issue of recognition of same sex divorce, it is widely believed that the all Republican nine member Court will certainly do nothing to disturb the clear language of our constitution and protect our state sovereignty.
About Texas Values
Texas Values is a non-profit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at www.txvalues.org.