Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Texas Republicans pretend that Obergefell v. Hodges doesn't do what it does

Greetings from Texas
Some lawmakers don't seem to understand much about the law.

In Texas, 50 Republican legislators have signed a court brief arguing that the same-sex spouses of government employees shouldn’t be entitled to health insurance and other benefits. Just how disconnected from reality are these folks?

The brief argues that there is nothing in Obergefell that requires the taxpayers of Texas to pay for same-sex spousal benefits. The argument is absurd because Obergefell makes gay couples “similarly situated” making disparate treatment unconstitutional. The fact that this is ultimately based on religious belief insults the First Amendment as well. It is scary that many of these people are legislators making law.

Even in Texas there are moments of lucidity. In September the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear the case captioned Pidgeon v. Parker. Jonathan Saenz, president of the anti-gay group Texas Values, and former Harris County GOP chair Jared Woodfill are petitioning the nine-member court for a rehearing. They are joined by Railroad Commissioner Ryan Sitton, four Republican candidates for the legislature, numerous anti-gay activists and the Texas Pastor Council.

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