AP NEWS

Same-sex benefits suit dismissed

February 22, 2019

A 2014 lawsuit aimed at preventing the city of Houston from offering health insurance to same-sex spouses of employees has been dismissed, according to officials.

Plaintiffs Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks lodged the conservative challenge against the city, then led by former Mayor Annise Parker, a year before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage. The lawsuit continued despite the landmark decision.

Family District Court Judge Sonya L. Heath, who entered office in January, threw the case out Monday after it bounced back to Harris County. It previously went before federal and Texas Supreme Court judges. The U.S. Supreme Court also declined to review the suit.

“This is a victory for equality, the law of our nation and human rights,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said Thursday in a statement. “I thank our Legal Department for its diligent work defending common sense and fairness, and I’m glad we get to continue the policy established by the city 6 years ago.”

The conservative duo behind the case alleged the benefits to same-sex spouses were an illegal use of taxpayer money.

nicole.hensley@chron.com

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