In a statement released by Mayor Sylvester Turner’s office on March 1, 2017, the City of Houston is defending its right to provide benefits to married employees, including those in same-sex marriages before the Texas Supreme Court,. The City, with the support of numerous “friends of the court,” is relying on Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that granted same-sex couples not only a fundamental right to marry, but also to enjoy the whole constellation of rights that come with marriage according to city officials. Houston contends that the decision in Obergefell left no remaining issues to be decided by any state supreme court or any other state official. The City is also arguing that the petitioners have no standing to challenge the City’s actions.
The City is confident that the Texas Supreme Court will follow its practice of requiring strict compliance with decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court and rule in the City’s favor.