Ken Paxton

AG Paxton Applauds Texas Supreme Court’s Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage Case

Friday, June 30, 2017 – Austin

Attorney General Ken Paxton today applauded the Texas Supreme Court’s decision to allow a challenge to the lawless actions of former Houston Mayor Annise Parker to move forward. The lawsuit, Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks v. Mayor Sylvester Turner and the City of Houston, alleges that Parker illegally extended benefits to same-sex spouses of city employees while the traditional, Texas definition of marriage was still in full force.

The Texas Supreme Court’s ruling permits the case to proceed forward. The lawsuit seeks to uphold the principle that local officials are required to honor Texas law, whether or not they agree with it.

“I’m extremely pleased that the Texas Supreme Court recognized that Texas law is still important when it comes to marriage,” Attorney General Paxton said. “While the U.S. Supreme Court declared a right to same-sex marriage, that ruling did not resolve all legal issues related to marriage.” According to the Texas Supreme Court, “Mr. Pidgeon and the Mayor, like many other litigants throughout the country, must now assist the courts in fully exploring Obergefell’s reach and ramifications, and are entitled to the opportunity to do so.”

Last October, Governor Greg Abbott, Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, and Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a joint amicus brief with the Texas Supreme Court urging the Court to affirm that the U.S. Supreme Court’s announcement of a right to same-sex marriage in Obergefell v. Hodges does not resolve all legal  issues related to marriage. Before this case, Attorney General Paxton defended Texas’ marriage laws in the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

View a copy of the decision here: