Houston’s Lesbian Mayor Sued For Rescinding Health Benefits For City Workers’ Spouses

Government officials are sued all the time. But it’s not every day that one of the nation’s premier LGBT legal groups sues the lesbian mayor of a major U.S. city. Lambda Legal has filed a lawsuit against Houston Mayor Annise Parker for rescinding health benefits for the same-sex spouses of city workers less than a month after making the benefits available.

Annise-ParkerParker was trying to get ahead of the marriage curve when she announced last month that any legally married city worker, including lesbian and gay workers who married in other states, would be able to take advantage of spousal health benefits. Texas being Texas, two Houstonians, including the county Republican party chair,  sued the city, claiming the benefits were illegal. The city is defending itself against that challenge, but in the meantime a judge issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting the city from offering the benefits.

Hence the lawsuit, filed on behalf of three city employees who were wed in states where marriage equality is legal. The employees enrolled for the benefits. “Now, suddenly, the rug is pulled out from under them,” Lambda Legal senior counsel Kenneth Upton told Gay Star News.

Parker was taking a risk moving forward with the benefits in the first place. The state attorney general’s office issued an opinion in April saying any municipality that offered same-sex benefits was in violation of the state constitution. A court hearing in the case is scheduled for January 6.

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  • Dakotahgeo

    More power to Mayor Parker. Any government official who is against equal benefits for all should have his/her health benefits nullified, just to see what it feels like. Then I hope they all need hospitalization!

  • LubbockGayMale

    As a Texan, I’m not surprised the state would refuse to allow a city to decide it’s HR policies. But that same state government raised blood hell over ACA, yelling the feds can’t tell states what to do! Gee, the irony is there, but Perry and Friends don’t get it, do they?

  • Dakotahgeo

    @LubbockGayMale: For the wonderful people that DO live in Texas, it surprises the hell out of me how these conservative jackasses get into power in the first place! Money? Blackmail? Government scandal(s)? I would think the average Texan would be horribly ashamed of these jokers but alas, they keep popping up like hemohrroids.

  • Harley

    @Dakotahgeo: it’s called gerrymandering. That’s how the repugnant-Klan has control of the US House of Representatives while overall democrats clearly got more votes. The USHOR is a joke.

  • Dakotahgeo

    @Harley: Thumbs up! Yes indeed! I knew that but in a State that has enough Repug/TeaPunk crazies in its Legislature, I forgot about that. I think the same problem exists in KS and MO!

  • Chris

    @Dakotahgeo: It’s frustrating – to say the least.

  • EGO

    Alas, it takes awhile for common sense to sink into those political brains that cannot separate religion from civil issues such as equal rights. Maybe that Texas heat cooks their brains. :>). I believe they will eventually come to their senses and do the right thing.

  • AmberMakitos

    my co-worker’s ex-wife makes $66 an hour on the internet. She has been unemployed for five months but last month her payment was $20939 just working on the internet for a few hours. why not look here……

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