Gay Marriage

Texas Attempts End Run Around Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling

Argument that 'recognizing' relationship doesn't mandate spousal benefits.

|

gay marriage
Syda Productions / Dreamstime.com

We're seeing either an attempt to resurrect gay marriage discrimination policies in Texas or its death throes. Hopefully it's the latter, but it could also be a useful case to bring about a discussion of the extent and fiscal consequences of expansive government employee benefits! (Spoiler: That's not going to happen.)

A couple of taxpayers, supported by the Texas Republican establishment, are suing to stop the City of Houston from extending spousal benefits to partners in same-sex marriages. This would seem to go against the Supreme Court's decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, the 2015 ruling that mandated that the federal government and the states recognize same-sex marriages as they do heterosexual marriages.

Indeed, Texas courts initially rejected the case, but the governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general submitted briefs arguing that this case is an opportunity to "examine the scope" of how broad the Obergefell ruling is. So the Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments in March.

At the heart of the case is a claim that gets really odd, really quickly: They are arguing that legally recognizing a same-sex couple doesn't necessarily mean that they have to extend the same employee benefits as they do to heterosexual married couples: "No city employee — whether heterosexual or homosexual — has a 'fundamental right' to receive employee benefits for his or her spouse. It is perfectly constitutional for the government to offer benefits or subsidies to some married couples while withholding those benefits from others."

While it's true that no city employee has a "fundamental right" to spousal benefits, this line of argument is a bit of a straw man. The justification for denying benefits and subsidies matters—the government can't just withhold them arbitrarily. Access to marriage benefits was part of the meat of what both the Obergefell and the previous Windsor ruling (which required the federal government to recognize gay marriages performed in states where it had been legalized) were about. From the majority opinion in Obergefell:

The marriage laws at issue are in essence unequal: Same-sex couples are denied benefits afforded opposite-sex couples and are barred from exercising a fundamental right. Especially against a long history of disapproval of their relationships, this denial works a grave and continuing harm, serving to disrespect and subordinate gays and lesbians.

Whether or not politicians in Texas support or "approve" of same-sex marriage should not be relevant to a decision of whether spouses should have access to benefits. It would certainly be deemed discriminatory to withhold benefits on the basis of the spouse's race or political affiliation or any number of other categories.

If taxpayers have an objection to the cost of extending benefits to spouses of government employees, then the discussion truly should revolve around reducing those benefits as a class. But that's not what this is about (which is a shame, really). If the government is going to offer a legal benefit or a privilege to a spouse, it needs to have a legitimate reason for discriminating against a particular couple. Not liking gay marriage isn't a legitimate reason.

Read through the case files here. While it seems likely that this lawsuit must be doomed, courts can be tough to predict.

Advertisement

NEXT: "What Happens When Doctors Only Take Cash"? Everybody, Especially Patients, Wins

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Man, Texas is just getting buttf*cked in H&R today. Damn….

    1. It’s legal.

  2. Jeebus, Texas. Really?

    You lost. Get over it. Move on.

    1. Seriously, I don’t see how they hope to win. Is it just posturing? Is gay marriage really such an unpopular position in Texas that it’s worth taking a case you know you’ll lose to court?

      1. Sounds like they’re trying to find how far they can push it and not necessarily trying to win.

      2. I live in Texas, and generally speaking a lot of individuals don’t have an issue with it but given how much of the state falls within the Bible belt there’s a very real religious anti-homosexual element in the state. It’s one of the few things I really dislike about living here.

        To steal a line, you can always count on Texas doing the right thing but only after trying everything else.

        1. The sad part is the Bible preaches tolerance and forgiveness and not being judgmental and casting the first stone.

          Sadly, most Christians are ignorant bigots like every other human being in the world and fail to understand what the Bible actually says.

          1 Corinthians 10

          23″All things are lawful,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. 24Let no one seek his own good, but the good of his neighbor. 25Eat whatever is sold in the meat market without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 26For “the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof.” 27If one of the unbelievers invites you to dinner and you are disposed to go, eat whatever is set before you without raising any question on the ground of conscience. 28But if someone says to you, “This has been offered in sacrifice,” then do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for the sake of conscience? 29I do not mean your conscience, but his. For why should my liberty be determined by someone else’s conscience? 30If I partake with thankfulness, why am I denounced because of that for which I give thanks?

          31So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. 32Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, 33just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

          out of chars :/

          John 8:7

          Matthew 7:1-6

          1. I’ve studied rather a lot of religion myself and while I would absolutely agree with you there are many who would not. It’s something of a truism that Christians have ruined Christianity. I consider this an awful shame considering that the Golden Rule is one of the most excellent moral rules you’ll come across in any philosophy you care to read. Well, unless you’re a suicidal sociopath anyway.

            1. The issue is really humanity in my opinion. It fucks everything up. Most humans just suck

          2. Most Christians in Texas are “christian” in the sense that they belong to a country club that meets on every Sunday morning and has a dedicated self-improvement lecturer.

            It’s pretty darn clear in 1 Cor. 5 that the vices* of nonbelievers are none of our concern.

            *there’s a complicated discussion that can be had about when a Christian “compliant” secular government can intervene in the misactions of nonbelievers, but I dare not wade into that right now.

          3. Best of all, from the Sermon on the Mount — making a public spectacle of one’s faith,

            Matthew 6:5

            5 “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.

          4. Your bible god not only causes rape (Deut. 28:30), kidnapping (v. 41) and parental cannibalism (v. 53), but he will “delight” to cause these and other extreme atrocities to those who disobey him, just as much as he delights to prosper those who obey him (v. 63).

            A god who gets just as much thrill in causing rape as he gets in healing cancer, is the god upon which Christianity originally rested (i.e., the NT apostles drew Christianity out of the OT before they ever wrote anything down in the NT).

            Are you one of those Christians who pick and choose what you will from the bible, thus showing that your instincts about what’s right and wrong control what God can say and do?

      3. Some politicians here will go to ridiculous lengths to earn brownie points with their God-fearin’ constituents.

    2. Unfortunately, the only way us Texans can “move on” is to kick all the good-ole-boy religious nuts and fossils out of the Legislature. And the incumbents’ staying power makes Krazy Glue look like Post-It adhesive.

      1. Sadly, they’ll get kicked out and replaced with retards from team Blue.

  3. So, I don’t really understand the position on this. I remember when so called ‘libertarians’ said that marriage was totally a state’s issue, but the state should allow for gay marriage. Now, it seems to be that somewhere, hidden underneath certain parts of the Constitution there is a constitutional right to gay marriage, but just gay marriage. If you want to marry your cousin (in a heterosexual union) then you have no constitutional right. If you want to marry multiple people then you have no constitutional right.

    Can we invent a constitutional right to bathroom access, too? ‘Libertarian’ (?) moment!

    1. It’s not all that hidden, it’s pretty clearly stated in the 14th Amendment that states are prohibited from denying anyone equal protection of the laws.

      1. The equal protection argument depends entirely on a stolen base, a sub rosa redefinition of marriage from man-and-woman (the unquestioned definition for all purposes until the EP argument needed to be made) to any-two-people.

        1. Is there any non-arbitrary distinction between a heterosexual marriage and a homosexual marriage from a legal point of view?

          1. Does any answer to that change the validity of his point in any way?

            1. Well saying that “the definition of that word changed” isn’t really much of an argument. Words evolve and change definitions all the time. Since there is nothing about gender inherent in the definition of marriage, the question becomes whether there is any non-arbitrary reason to deny some marriages the protections and benefits that are extended to others.

              1. Shouldn’t we be going with the common legal meaning of the word at the time the Amendment/Law was written?

              2. Well saying that “the definition of that word changed” isn’t really much of an argument.

                If words mean whatever you say they mean, then there is no rule of law.

                And, even allowing for the evolution of the term (which never happened outside the gay/activist community), the question remains – who should determine the official meaning of the word for legal purposes? The legislature, which wrote the statute where the word appears, or judges?

              3. Since there is nothing about gender inherent in the definition of marriage,

                See, this is one of the best ways to beg the question: assume the conclusion.

                The question is, should the courts have used the traditional man-and-woman definition of marriage, or the new any-two-people definition of marriage?

                Hugh’s reply? There is, and never has been, a different definition of marriage than any-two-people.

                Also, points for misusing the term “gender”, when the old definition wasn’t gender-specific either – it was sex-specific.

                1. I would like to point out “Marriage” is not within government authority. It is religious. It is unconstitutional for the government (Fed or State via 14th incorporation) to violate the first amendment. Full Stop. Marriage is a form of association. So we are done here. It is unconstitutional for any State, City, County, Municipality, Federal Agency, etc. to either inhibit free association OR support the establishment of any religion. Wow, that was easy.

          2. I say just remove sex/gender from all laws. I don’t see the need for it.

            1. Remove marital status from all laws. I don’t see the need for it.

              What you said too.

            2. You don’t see the need for doing something that the vast majority of Americans in the history of this nation saw abundant need for doing. Apparently you’ve been hoodwinked by the arbitrary logic of the gay lobby.

        2. You make it sound like it was something just made up for the court case, though. But gay people were effectively getting married before any state recognized it legally. So I’d argue that it was about the law catching up with reality. The law was treating different married couples differently based on an outdated notion of what marriage is.

          That said, I think the SC got it wrong. There is no absolute right to state recognized marriage.

        3. Marriage recognition AT ALL is a violation of the 1st amendment freedom of religion.

          It is clear that recognizing straight marriages is unconstitutional.

          1. This.

          2. Exactly!!!

          3. fuck

            “read down first, read down first, read down first”

            /attoned

          4. DON’T EVER STEAL MY THUNDER AN HOUR AND A HALF BEFORE I THUNDER IT AGAIN ROB!!!!

          5. ^ This.

            Private religious ceremonies and private religious contracts should not be recognized by the state, except in the issues of contractual law.

        4. Hey, you fuckers changed the definition of marriage from “man-and-women” to “man-and-woman”. The way I see it, YOU’VE already tarnished the sanctity of marriage with your blasphemous redefinition. Why should YOUR ~perverted~ definition of marriage be more valid then theirs, as long as we’re considering your redefinition??

          Oh so it’s okay for you to redefine things to fit your own moral standards, but not for them?? C’mon!! The definition of marriage as “man-and-women” was CONSTANT for thousands of years!! You can’t just come along and change it to “man-and-woman” and expect everyone to accept that!! Your marriage model is invalid!! Blasphemous!!

        5. If there is a stolen base, it is heterosexuals who did it. When no fault divorce ended the life-long nature, and changes in technology and social attitudes ended the shame of children without a marriage license, and a marriage license without children, then the Victorian boy-girl-in-love-for-life definition went out with the garbage.

          Note also, the real history of Marriage was a property transaction between the parents of the bride and groom [with bride and groom as the chattel, in case I’m too subtle]. When choice entered in the middle ages, and Gay / Lesbian identity became “not-a-sin, not-a-crime” in the law reforms of the past 2 centuries, and women ceased to be property of their husband, then our current situation was pre-ordained.

          Legally Marriage is simply a personal contract between two individuals, that comes with a package of accoutrements defined by law and custom. You decide if the accoutrements are benefits or liability.

          But Texas will lose this one big time.

          1. But legalizing gay marriage for me encourages the practice of anal intercourse, which all medical authorities agree is an act that this part of the body was never designed to facilitate.

      2. Any adult man could marry any adult women

        Andy adult women could marry any adult man

        So it was equal

        And if you asked any person involved in creating the 14th Amendment, I doubt if any would say that it required homosexual marriage.

        1. So it was equal

          You could use that logic to justify anything, because you’re cherrypicking certain aspects of the situation while ignoring others. It may be true that any adult could marry any adult of the opposite sex if they both chose to do so, but it wasn’t true that you could always marry the adult that you were in a romantic relationship with, at least if the other person happened to be of the same sex as you.

          And if you asked any person involved in creating the 14th Amendment, I doubt if any would say that it required homosexual marriage.

          Who cares? The actual text is what matters, so argue about that and not what those who drafted the 14th amendment may have thought about some hypothetical future issue.

          I don’t believe in states’ rights, because governments (including state governments) do not have rights. The only reason I ever advocate for states’ rights is because I still don’t want a government that violates the highest law of the land, but that doesn’t mean the issue of states’ rights is inherently a libertarian position. It can be a good idea in practice for states to handle certain matters, but when states violate people’s rights, then they need to be stopped.

          1. “but it wasn’t true that you could always marry the adult that you were in a romantic relationship with”

            Which has exactly nothing to do with anything, specifically with regards to equal protection.

            “Who cares?”

            Judges. They, as a matter of course, rely on the extra-constitutional opinions of the founders.

            1. Quite often, an adult male couldn’t marry the adult female that they were in a romantic relationship with.

              Due to one or both of them being married to other people.

              That is a complete non-issue.

              1. That was in agreement with you, Obviously, obviously.

                1. Caught that, thank you.

            2. Which has exactly nothing to do with anything, specifically with regards to equal protection.

              And yet the fact that any adult could marry any adult of the opposite sex does? Quit cherrypicking. I understand that one aspect of the situation can mean more to you than another, but pretending that other things don’t exist is just silly. There are multiple ways to look at this, but pretending that the situation is 100% equal just because only pay attention to certain things is ridiculous.

              Judges. They, as a matter of course, rely on the extra-constitutional opinions of the founders.

              I suppose that’s how we got into this mess to begin with. Pay no heed to the actual language and instead rely on authoritarian judges to divine the intent of people who are long since dead and wouldn’t agree with many of our modern values anyway.

        2. Sorry, but it was not until 1967 after the ruling in Loving v. Virginia that a black person could marry a white person (or at least prevent States from blocking it). So when the 14th was written, not “Any adult man could marry any adult women”.

        3. “Any adult man could marry any adult woman of the same race. So it was equal.”

          Look, I just want private religious ceremonies to be private and without the state. That way you blasphemers who believe in remarriage after divorce without waiting out the God-mandated year of waiting can go about your business without letting your (inferior) definitions of marriage tarnish the good and proper one.

          1. But seriously, that logic is absurd. Expanded and you get:

            “Everyone is entitled to a spouse of the same race as them. It’s TOTALLY equal!! Black people have the right to black spouses, and white people have the right to white spouses, it’s the same exact right, and thus TOTALLY equal!!”

            1. Separate but equal was the law of the land dor a long long time. Judge Nap wrote a whole book on that topic.

          2. But seriously, that logic is absurd. Expanded and you get:

            “Everyone is entitled to a spouse of the same race as them. It’s TOTALLY equal!! Black people have the right to black spouses, and white people have the right to white spouses, it’s the same exact right, and thus TOTALLY equal!!”

            1. See, even the Squirrelz agree!!

      3. Ah yes, the 14th Amendment, where fantasies become realized.

        Amazingly, the Court, in the 1970’s, didn’t see gay marriage as a federal issue, as they rejected a very same lawsuit and said that it was a question for states to decide.

        1. And? I fail to see why that indicates the current court position is wrong. It’s possible that the old decision was wrong and the new one is right. It’s also possible that the old decision was correct. Courts often decide incorrectly, so appealing to them is foolish.

          1. Why is only ‘gay marriage’ a constitutional right, then? A heterosexual person who wants to marry his cousin is still forbidden from doing so in nearly every state. A polygamus marriage is unlawful in every state.

            You cannot just invent things and say they’re in the Constitution, because you like them. If that becomes the standard then what the hell is the difference between the Leftist ‘living constitution’ and the libertarian judicial philosophy? Because one lie produces your desired outcome and not the other?

            1. “A polygamus marriage is unlawful in every state.”

              A greater injustice, I say!! God says I can have two wives, and THAT definition of marriage has been around a LOT longer than your cockamamie blasphemous monogamous-only model!! If YOU can redefine marriage to “one only” I don’t see why you have such a big problem with anyone perverting and changing the definition further.

            2. “A polygamus marriage is unlawful in every state.”

              A greater injustice, I say!! God says I can have two wives, and THAT definition of marriage has been around a LOT longer than your cockamamie blasphemous monogamous-only model!! If YOU can redefine marriage to “one only” I don’t see why you have such a big problem with anyone perverting and changing the definition further.

            3. Why is only ‘gay marriage’ a constitutional right, then? A heterosexual person who wants to marry his cousin is still forbidden from doing so in nearly every state. A polygamus marriage is unlawful in every state.

              Well, if we assume the latest court ruling is correct, then those things should be allowed. I don’t see the big issue here, because it’s no surprise that our government is being inconsistent.

              The real solution is to get rid of government-endorsed marriage entirely, as others have said.

              You cannot just invent things and say they’re in the Constitution, because you like them.

              I didn’t say you should. It’s sad that courts do that all the time.

          2. “I fail to see why that indicates the current court position is wrong”

            I beleive you when you say you lack the capacity to understand why the same body making two contradictory opinions based on the same document means one is wrong.

            1. What? Did you even comprehend what you read? I did not say that at least one of them is not wrong; I said that the fact that a previous court ruling contradicts a later court rulings does not by itself indicate that the later court ruling is wrong. What an absurd interpretation of my words.

    2. I don’t think many libertarians buy the constitutional right to marriage argument. Rather, it should be a matter of equal protection. If a state is going to recognize marriage at all as a legal status, it should be recognized in the same way for all couples. And I don’t think many will disagree that the same should apply to plural marriages, etc.

      1. Others think the state should not recognize any marriage, if its your private life then keep it private

        1. That use to be the standard (remember this phrase: “get the government out of marriage”?). Now, the standard seems to be ‘just sellout, it’s cool now’.

          1. Some libertarians treat equality and liberty as co-equal principles. I don’t. Liberty supercedes equality in my book. It’s better to unequally free people than to equally enslave them.

      2. The state shouldn’t be involved at all. The solution is simple: the state doesn’t need to recognize marriages or give perks to those who are married. I don’t see either side advocating that resolution, which is odd to me.

        1. I am.

          But, I have been repeatedly called (or in the case of less honest contributers, suggested to be) a bigot for forwarding that position.

      3. The state shouldn’t be involved at all. The solution is simple: the state doesn’t need to recognize marriages or give perks to those who are married. I don’t see either side advocating that resolution, which is odd to me.

        1. Yes. I think the squirrels agree, too.

          1. I like squirrels. I wish humans were called squirrels. They have the best name.

        2. The state shouldn’t be involved at all. The solution is simple: the state doesn’t need to recognize marriages or give perks to those who are married. I don’t see either side advocating that resolution, which is odd to me.

          Ron Paul does, but he’s a fucking phony,
          Government should not be involved is his LAME excuse that government can discriminate when it is still involved???? Pathetic bigot. Same argument as the KKK. States Rights is NOT Federalism. And the 10th Amendment is subordinate to the 9th. But his cult of goobers laps it up.

    3. Marriage is nothing more than people entering into a contract. Arguments made to the contrary are laughable, morality-based, nanny state bullshit. States don’t reserve the right to prevent consenting adults from entering into contract.

      Bathroom access is unrelated.

      1. Agreed.

        So, should we expect Reason to write ONE article in support of those suing for the right to a polygamous marriage? That question actually raises constitutional concerns since the law was passed specifically to discriminate against Mormons (Utah was not allowed into the union until they passed a law against polygamy).

        Or should we wait until polygamy becomes ‘hip’?

        I’ll start holding my breath now

        1. You mean like this one? Or this one?

          1. You shut me up. I tip my hat to you.

            Good day

            1. ^This is why I love Reason.^

              Seriously, is there any other place online where someone actually admits when they were wrong?

        2. “Or should we wait until polygamy becomes ‘hip’?”

          Anyone got the latest ratings for the Sister Wives show?

      2. Agreed. However, since state-sponsored marriage isn’t going to end anytime soon, I will pick the statist option that coincides best with liberty. My argument is that allowing gays (or anyone really) to marry doesn’t harm anyone, it is the best statist solution.

        1. it is the best statist solution.

          Awesome

    4. You might not have noticed, but this post had nothing to do with whether anyone had a constitutional right to be married.

      1. Not sure if serious…

        1. Not sure if literate…

          1. Not sure if correct number of chromosomes are present…

      2. Herp derp, a post that directly references the discussion of the constitutional right to be married DOES NOT in fact have anything to do with a constitutional right to be married.

        No wonder people name check you when the subject of worst posters comes up.

      3. his post had nothing to do with whether anyone had a constitutional right to be married.

        You may not have noticed that is irrelevant. Totally.
        There is a Constitutional right to equality. And if government is involved then that cannot be denied.
        Regardless of what Ron Paul says,

        There’s also no constitutional right to a drivers license. Here’s how our system of government works.
        Any level of government can do whatever it wants, unless and until there is a successful court challenge. It’s called Constitutional Review. Else the court would have to rule in advance of any actions at all, regardless of how trivial — BUT they are not constitutionally authorized for such a role. Just that simple.

    5. First cousin marriage is legal in many states, including here in Maine.

    6. Now, it seems to be that somewhere, hidden underneath certain parts of the Constitution there is a constitutional right to gay marriage,

      It’s not hidden except to those who refuse to see …. the Ninth Amendment originally … later reinforced in the 14th,.

      Marriage was not even a sacrament in the Catholic Church until 1500 years after Christ.
      What’s hidden from many is … the truth.

  4. Look! DISTRACTION, DISTRACTION, CROWD SIZE, WALL.

    t

    twenty trillion in debt, fiat currency run amok, war pending.

  5. If taxpayers have an objection to the cost of extending benefits to spouses of government employees, then the discussion truly should revolve around reducing those benefits as a class.

    I object to extending benefits to any spouse, period. You’re welcome, Texas.

    1. That is the REAL libertarian solution – equal protection under the law + fuck you, cut spending (TM)

    2. +1 Where’s my ‘like’ button?

    3. I object to extending benefits to any spouse, period.

      Meaningless. This is not a police state, so you cannot ban the practice/

  6. This is why there shouldn’t be such a thing as public employees?

    1. I thought it was why there shouldn’t be any such thing as married people.

      1. I guess that works too.

        1. There shouldn’t be a such thing as government defining personal relationships nor should there be benefits, subsidies, or entitlements to people just because they are married or own a house or any other bullshit that somehow favors one group over another.

          It is just so pathetic that law makers pander to the notion that there is some sort of abomination by all god fearing folk about gayness. I’ll bet no one gives a shit anymore.

          This is one of those American stupidities perpetuated by politicians and our society just to have something to bitch about and to protest.

          1. Right. This is the long version of what we said.

          2. There shouldn’t be a such thing as government defining personal relationships nor should there be benefits, subsidies, or entitlements to people just because they are married or own a house or any other bullshit that somehow favors one group over another.

            When you become dictator you can impose all that by fiat. Until then, we operate under the Rule of Law,

  7. The marriage laws at issue are in essence unequal: Same-sex couples are denied benefits afforded opposite-sex couples and are barred from exercising a fundamental right.

    FINE THEN NO SPOUSES GET BENEFITS. HAPPY NOW, GAY PEOPLE?

    1. We better make sure to find out what Ja Rule thinks about this.

      1. I’m Wayne Brady bitch.

    2. FINE THEN NO SPOUSES GET BENEFITS. HAPPY NOW, GAY PEOPLE?

      LAME
      “Equal rights means NO rights.”
      Oh.

  8. Argument that ‘recognizing’ relationship doesn’t mandate spousal benefits.

    Umm, yes it does, Texas. That’s the whole point of gay marriage? Do you really think that all gay people wanted was for the state to say, “Ohhhh, ok, I guess you two kids love each other!” and leave it at that? No, it was about the state-recognized benefits of being married.

    1. “Ohhhh, ok, I guess you two kids love each other!” and leave it at that? No, it was about the state-recognized benefits of being married.

      Well, I think it went a bit further than that since they insisted on the very specific designation of marriage and rejected things like civil unions. They wanted the state to recognize their relationships as the full equals to straight marriage from the benefits to the symbolic bullshit aspects of it.

      1. I can understand that when gays were relegated to “civil unions” only that presented a problem. I’m no lawyer (or Doctor), but I seem to recall that the Civil Union concept limited the mobility of their legal relationship– ie, it’ll work for them in Texas, but not if they move to another state which doesn’t recognize said unions. For heterosexual people, we don’t get married in Nevada and then worry if our union will be recognized if we move to another state. That presents an equality-before-the-law issue. It seemed that the best way to go to insure 50 state recognition was to allow gay couples the same benefits and protections as heterosexual couples. And that includes getting raped in a divorce.

        1. That was eliminated when the Defense of Marriage Act was ruled unconstitutional. A civil union would have had to be recognized in all states, if performed in one state (‘full faith and credit’ clause).

      2. They wanted the state to recognize their relationships as the full equals to straight marriage from the benefits to the symbolic bullshit aspects of it.

        It’s called equal rights. And it’s not just “them.” It”s anyone with a moral commitment to individual liberty … versus the statist thugs who would deny it (to all but their own klan).

  9. I personally don’t think this is a bad argument. Janitors don’t get the same benefits as an accountant. So, there are already differences in benefits in the workforce. However, the argument is way more persuasive in eliminating spousal benefits entirely. People in the workforce (public or private) should be treated the same based on them as an individual. Not on any personal associations the individuals choose to engage in.

    1. People in the workforce (public or private) should be treated the same based on them as an individual.

      Perhaps not contradicting you here, but I think the employer should be free to offer whatever benefits it wants to any individual. If that means they offer to provide benefits to a spouse or family members, so be it. If they discriminate on any criteria they want, their call. Obviously, that’s not what we have. And it’s different went discussing the government when it acts as an employer.

      1. Yes, that should be how it works.

        The main problem I see there is that the tax system treats benefits for spouses and dependent children differently from benefits for unmarried domestic partners, etc. Which discriminates against unmarried employees.

        Either exempt all insurance premiums from income tax, or treat it like any other compensation or spending.

      2. I don’t disagree with you when it comes to the private sector. But, that would require the repeal of a lot of anti-discrimination laws starting with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. And, that ain’t gonna happen.

        1. And, that ain’t gonna happen.

          Can we go with “And, that would be exceedingly unpopular.”?

          As per Crusty Juggler’s disclaimer below, “And, that ain’t gonna happen.” leaves open the notion that the CRA is the will of God and/or that libertarians don’t/care have given up.

          If we can’t roll back large parts of the ’64 CRA, what chance do we have with similarly expansive and more popular messes enacted at the same time or earlier (or later for that matter)? If we give up on any sort of significant reform or repeal of the ’64 CRA, then Medicare, Social Security, and even the deficit/debt itself is pretty much off the table as well.

    2. Janitors don’t get the same benefits as an accountant

      In term of health insurance offerings, this is probably not quite true.

      1. Maybe. But, I wouldn’t bet on it. Janitors are typically hired as non-exempt employees. And, non-exempt benefits packages are usually quite a bit different than and exempt employee package.

        1. Not any place that I’ve ever worked. But I wil grant you that I haven’t worked everywhere.

          1. Same here, sparky.

            Except for the golden parachutes, etc. that the capitalist pigdog overlords get, of course.

            1. And CEOs and other high execs getting pension plans instead of 401ks.

              Of course, that probably has to do with the 401k limits.

    3. I personally don’t think this is a bad argument. Janitors don’t get the same benefits as an accountant.

      In the same employer they do. And that’s 1000% irrelevant here. These are public employees, where the employer (government) is more severely limited

  10. I guess the real equal protection question is why the State of Texas is discriminating against single people? Shouldn’t THEY be allowed to bestow additional benefits to another person of their choosing? Why are benefits only extended to those who choose to register their relationship status with the State?

    1. When i was single i spent a LOT of time trying to “bestow my benefits” on other people, if you know what i mean.

  11. it’s pretty clearly stated in the 14th Amendment that states are prohibited from denying anyone equal protection of the laws.

    I wish this was applied to 2A. *sigh*

  12. What is the rational basis for denying these couples benefits?

    How are they different than any married straight couple?

    1. Government mandated birth control.

      1. Huh?

        I’m afraid I don’t get your point.

        1. Depending on your point, your questions are mutually exclusive/oxymoronic. Simply applying ‘rational basis’ both in the lay and legal sense is founded on some pretty shitty principle in this case.

          Plenty of federal benefits laws have passed on a rather explicitly irrational basis (you have to pass it to find out what’s in it and we have to lie to the public to get it passed) and contains some rather explicitly non-rational exceptions in that a closely-held religious company need not offer birth control options that violate it’s religious principles. Some of this, from a legal perspective, doesn’t apply to the State of Texas but, from a libertarian perspective, certainly applies to the private taxpayers of the State of Texas.

          The presumption or rigid inference of intrinsic equality is rather fundamentally irrational.

        2. Basically, you’re asking for a rational basis in support of a position that plenty of libertarians don’t hold in the first place.

          1. Basically, you’re asking for a rational basis in support of a position that plenty of libertarians don’t hold in the first place.

            How many libertarians would mandate what employers may or may not do?

        3. I’m afraid I don’t get your point.

          He has no point. There is no mandate to USE birth control … which would be kinda wacky, no?

  13. Every article on this issue needs the disclaimer: “GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE INVOLVED MARRIAGE BUT SINCE THAT IS NOT HAPPENING ANY TIME SOON BECAUSE EVERYONE AND THEIR GAY COUSIN WANT TAX BREAKS THIS IS MY TAKE ON THE ISSUE!”

    1. Interesting… I got hit with the marriage penalty and my taxes went up.

      That wasn’t among my reasons for marrying.

      1. Marry a poor person next time. Gosh.

      2. Interesting… I got hit with the marriage penalty and my taxes went up.

        Have you lost a lot of money that way …. by not knowing the tax code? There is no requirement to file a joint return, despite the screeching of certain goobers.

  14. Seriously…what makes the decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court binding on anyone else?

    Because it’s been that way for a long time? That’s an appeal to tradition, and I don’t see how the gay marriage types can make such an appeal with a straight face.

    Why can’t other parts of the government simply say that they won’t enforce Supreme Court decisions? The U.S. Marshals could spend their time chasing actual criminals, and decline to enforce Supreme Court edicts.

    1. And there is certainly a longer history of other government agencies disregarding the Supreme Court than there is of gay marriage.

    2. Because that would lead to a massive epidemic of selective enforcement and FYTW Syndrome.

      Put the shoe on the other foot. What if SCOTUS clearly ruled that any type of civil asset forfeiture is unconstitutional, but the Corruptiburg Police Department decided it wouldn’t recognize that ruling and refuse to give back your seized sports car? And they wouldn’t face any penalty for what would otherwise be a blatant contempt of court?

      We could all argue day and night about which branch of government has the power to enforce or nullify laws, but let’s face it… the Judicial branch is pretty much toothless if the Legislative branch refuses to repeal and stop enforcing laws that the Judicial branch finds unconstitutional.

      1. Oh, I know, but *I’m* not the one who wants to rewrite laws on a whim with no reference to tradition or principle. So *I* get to argue in favor of judicial authority on principled grounds.

  15. RE: Texas Attempts End Run Around Supreme Court Gay Marriage Ruling

    Oh no!
    Not gay marriage!
    If gays are allowed to get married, the stock market will crash, the sun will explode and giraffes will start voting for republicans.
    Oh, the horror.
    The horror!

    1. Even worse, Uncle Jay, we COULD get a flaming asshole in the White House. 🙂

  16. Ah yes, time for another round of apologizing on behalf of the saner minds here in the Lone Star State.

  17. Texas must be hoping Roy Moore is Trump’s Supreme Court pick.

  18. It’s Texas. Where a Congressman sponsored an attempt to forbid the Supreme Court from hearing ANY challenges to DOMA. His bill suffered a humiliating rejection, because homosexuals would be the first group denied a defense of constitutional rights since slavery. A moral atrocity.

    Incredibly. some say this shocking abuse of individual rights was sponsored by a libertarian!
    Apparently, some folks think Ron Paul is a libertarian, but they’re all bigots and/or statists.

  19. There can be no denying whatsoever, that the man who cannot become sexually aroused except by the sight of, or interacting with, other men, is a genuine birth-defect, since, back when sex was the only way to create kids, the more a gay man couldn’t be turned on by women, the more likely he would never have kids and thankfully his dna would disappear forever from the human gene pool upon his death.

    How strongly would gays engage in special interest lobbying for the idiot who puts two pieces of balony between his mattress and box-springs, screws the side of the bed, identifies his bed as his former lover in prior life, and seeks a right to marry him/it?

    You will object that the bed is not a person, but when you say this, you are automatically assuming his religious view that the bed is a person is wrong.

    You support his gayness, and you support his right to religious liberty, right?

    Or do most gays have genuine fear of the absurdities that logically follow from their absurd premises?

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.