LGBT Case Thrown Out; Same-sex Suit Dismissed In Court
In a victory for supporters of the rule of law, a federal judge late Tuesday threw out a federal-court case in which left-wing LGBT activists, represented by Lambda Legal, sued a Houston taxpayer and pastor (Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks) because they are defending our Texas laws in another case playing out in state court.
Several same-sex couples sued to force the City of Houston to keep providing same-sex benefits to them, even though the City of Houston is currently providing same-sex benefits and spending countless taxpayer time and resources to advocate for this same position in court, and has been clearly aligned with Lambda Legal’s position throughout this conflict.
Pidgeon and Hicks have no ability to enforce state law or provide benefits to same-sex couples, but they were sued by Lambda Legal anyway. So it appears Lambda Legal filed this federal lawsuit to stop the state court case that is not going their way, which court precedent does not allow.
The dismissal order, by Judge Vanessa Gilmore, declares that the plaintiffs lack standing to sue, while adopting all of the arguments made by the defendants. The name of the federal case is Freeman v. Turner.
“This wasteful scheme and frivolous case looks like LGBT efforts to intimidate and punish regular Texans who want the government to follow the law,” said Jonathan Saenz, attorney for Texas Values, who represents Pidgeon and Hicks. “We are glad the judge saw through this collusion and threw this case out. This dismissal gives us hope that taxpayer efforts still matter.”
Pidgeon and Hicks, since 2013, have been trying to ensure that the City of Houston follows Texas law that prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to subsidize same-sex benefits. Saenz and local attorney Jared Woodfill have been representing Pidgeon and Hicks since the beginning of their efforts in court to hold the rogue local government accountable in the state case of Pidgeon v. Turner.
Lambda Legal engaged in a similar frivolous tactic by filing suit in federal court 2014 when Pidgeon and Hicks initiated their lawsuit against the City of Houston in state court.
The Texas Supreme Court ruled in June of this year that Pidgeon v. Turner may continue to be litigated, after a lower trial court temporarily stopped the City of Houston from violating state law by providing same-sex benefits. The City of Houston then filed a request with the U. S. Supreme Court for high-court review of the Texas Supreme Court’s ruling. No decision has been made on that request at this point.
Since this case began, more than 70 elected officials including Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton have weighed-in, lending support for plaintiffs Pidgeon and Hicks.
More information on Pidgeon v. Turner may be read here.