Supreme Court To Hear Arguments On Gay Wedding Cake

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The controversy arose in June when the Texas Supreme Court revived a lawsuit that sought to eliminate benefits offered to the same-sex spouses of city of Houston employees, ruling that the right to a marriage license did not automatically entitle same-sex couples to spousal insurance benefits.

The conflict began in 2013, when Houston under then-Mayor Annise Parker began offering employee benefits to the same-sex spouses of employees who had been legally married in other states.

In another case involving the scope of protections provided by the Obergefell decision, the Supreme Court in June overturned a state court ruling that had allowed Arkansas to refuse to list both same-sex spouses on birth certificates. 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. The decision, the Texas Supreme Court said, does not necessarily require the state of Texas or its cities to extend the same benefits to state or municipal employees in same-sex marriages that it does to other married state and municipal employees.

The high court's action set no nationwide precedent but may give a boost to conservative legal efforts to limit the effects of its decision in the case Obergefell v. Hodges that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to gay couples under the U.S. Constitution.

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- The Supreme Court will hear argument tomorrow in Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission tomorrow Equality Case Files has all the documents from the case here.

Opponents of gay marriage sued, prompting a district judge to block the benefits, ruling that they violated a state law and constitutional amendment barring government recognition of same-sex marriages.

The Texas high court had initially been reluctant to take the case, but made a decision to do so under pressure from Republican officials and antigay activists, including the Texas governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general. In the Arlene's Flowers case, similar to Masterpiece Cakeshop, the Court took no action.

"This is an incredible early Christmas present from the U. S. Supreme Court for taxpayers". The ruling found that there's still room for state courts to explore "the reach and ramifications" of marriage-related issues that resulted from the legalization of same-sex marriage. Such a ruling again could be appealed to the nation's top court. "We're grateful that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed our lawsuit to go forward", Saenz said.

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