After the Texas Supreme Court initially declined to hear a lawsuit filed against Houston Mayor Annise Parker over her decision to issue same-sex benefits prior to the U.S. Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage ruling, taxpayers Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks have filed a motion to appeal the decision – and they’re coming back with friends.
While Pidgeon and Hicks already have the support of Texas Values President Jonathan Saenz and conservative activist Jared Woodfill, who are representing them in the case, even stronger allies have flocked to their side since asking the court to reconsider hearing the case.
The first set of reinforcements came last week when a large coalition of elected officials, candidates, and conservative leaders joined an amicus brief written by Briscoe Cain and Keith Strahan to support Pidgeon and Hicks’ request.
Today, the cavalry arrived as Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed their own amicus brief in support of the taxpayers.
“My office had the privilege of defending Texas’ marriage laws in Fifth Circuit. While the U.S. Supreme Court did recognize a right to same-sex marriage, there are a host of issues in that area of the law that remain unresolved,” said Paxton in a statement. “I applaud Governor Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Patrick for their leadership in asking that state courts give serious consideration to these weighty, unresolved questions.”
The case originally began in 2013 when Parker, who would later draw nationwide criticism for subpoenaing pastors who spoke out about her gender neutral bathroom policy, directed city staff to issue spousal benefits to employees in same-sex relationships that obtained legal union in other states in violation of the Texas Constitution.
The case reached the Texas Supreme Court on appeal earlier this year only for the Court to deny their petition for review, a move that prompted a fiery dissent from Justice John Devine.