Texas attorney general Greg Abbott, the man running against Wendy Davis to be the next governor of Texas, has decided on his own accord to join a lawsuit trying to force Houston Mayor Annise Parker to rescind the benefits the city has extended to its gay and lesbian married employees.
In 2001, Houston voters approved a charter amendment banning the extension of benefits to the same-sex partners of city employees. But after the Supreme Court’s DOMA decision, Houston City Attorney David Feldman advised Mayor Parker such a ban was now unconstitutional. In November of last year, the mayor decided to extend same-sex benefits to city workers, a decision that seems to have rankled Abbott.
Attorney General Abbott, who will remind you of Virginia’s former attorney general Ken Cuccinelli, filed two amicus briefs this week, both aimed at assuring lawsuits filed over Houston’s same-sex marriage benefits aren’t heard by a federal court.
The first brief is in support of a pair of Houston residents who filed a lawsuit after Mayor Parker, who is lesbian, decided to grant benefits to the spouses of same-sex city employees who married in an “equality” state. Mayor Parker has petitioned to move the case to federal court. Attorney General Abbott’s brief opposes that move, writing:
“The defendants have challenged the constitutionality of Texas’s marriage laws. This case should be remanded to state court as soon as possible.”
The second amicus brief seeks to get a case filed by Lambda Legal dismissed. The legal group has filed a case in federal court in support of Mayor Parker’s decision to extend benefits to same-sex couples. Abbott (left) argues there is no dispute for the federal court to adjudicate.
Keep in mind, Abbott was not a respondent in either of these lawsuits, he just felt compelled to go out of his way to discriminate against gay couples. What a memorable wedding present for Mayor Parker, who married her longtime partner Kathy Hubbard in California last week.
I think I understand now why, in their wedding announcement, Mayor Parker (Right) mentions Kathy has her own insurance and will not be seeking spousal benefits.
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