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The case dates to , when two local taxpayers sued then-Houston Mayor Annise Parker, the city's first openly gay mayor. Relying on a legal opinion from the city attorney, Parker had decided to extend spousal benefits to gay couples, even though an amendment to the city charter banned the practice.
In their lawsuit, Jack Pidgeon, a pastor, and Larry Hicks, an accountant, argued no city employee has a "fundamental right" to receive government-subsidized spousal benefits and that it was "perfectly constitutional" to extend benefits to some married couples and deny them to others. When Obergefell was decided 18 months later, the state of Texas and government-funded entities, like universities, began extending spousal benefits to same-sex couples in their employ. But Pidgeon and Hicks continued to fight the city's benefits policy.
Greg Abbott and Lt.
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Dan Patrick, the high court made the unusual decision to reopen the case. On Friday, the justices said the Obergefell ruling did not detail what additional rights, other than marriage, are guaranteed to same-sex couples. Conservative groups hailed the ruling as protecting traditional marriage, while those fighting for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans called it an attempt to "undercut" the rights of the LGBT community. It would define marriage as only between a man and a woman.
The U. Supreme Court decides Lawrence v.
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Texas , striking down sodomy law and enshrining a broad constitutional right to sexual privacy. California passes a domestic partnership law which provides same-sex partners with almost all the rights and responsibilities as spouses in civil marriages.
President Bush states that he wants marriage reserves for heterosexuals and the Massachusetts Supreme Court hands down a decision that makes Massachusetts the first state to legalize gay marriage. Portland, Oregon also begins issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. While San Francisco is told to halt same-sex unions, Oregon takes the more drastic step of halting all marriages until the state decides who can and cannot wed.
The proposed constitutional amendment with the same-sex ban dies in the U. Senate after testimony against it from conservative politicians. Missouri votes to ban same-sex marriage. Washington state says yes to same-sex marriage in a court decision while the California Supreme Court voids same-sex marriages. Several states pass initiatives to ban same-sex marriages.
California's legislature attempts to pass a law legalizing same-sex unions but it is vetoed by the governor. Connecticut becomes the second state to approve same-sex unions.