The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear Houston’s appeal of a lower court ruling that threw into doubt the city’s spousal benefits to gay married municipal employees, allowing a case that tests the reach of the landmark 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide to proceed.
The justices left intact a June ruling by the Republican-dominated Texas Supreme Court that revived a lawsuit backed by a conservative group that advocates “biblical, Judeo-Christian values” aimed at blocking Houston from offering such benefits.
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.
The case will now proceed in a Texas state court, which could decide to stop the benefits offered by the fourth most populous U.S. city. Such a ruling again could be appealed to the nation’s top court.
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.
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Source: Christian Post