Thursday, Apr 24, 2014
 
search SGN
SERVING SEATTLE AND THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST FOR 40 YEARS!

click to visit advertiser's website


Javascript DHTML Drop Down Menu Powered by dhtml-menu-builder.com

Last Weeks Edition
   
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website




 

 

 
 

 

 

[Valid RSS]

click to go to advertisers website
to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, November 22 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 47
Same-sex benefits no problem for Houston - Mayor says denying LGBT couples equal treatment would be illegal
Section One
ALL STORIES
  next story
Same-sex benefits no problem for Houston - Mayor says denying LGBT couples equal treatment would be illegal

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Houston Mayor Annise Parker announced this week that her city will begin offering spousal benefits to Gay and Lesbian partners legally married to City workers.

The openly Lesbian mayor was first elected in 2009, and re-elected in 2011, and again this year.

Texas law forbids same-sex marriage, and a Houston city charter amendment adopted in 2001 specifically limits benefits to 'legal spouses.' At the time it was adopted, the amendment meant that no same-sex partners were eligible for City-provided benefits. In the 12 years since 2001, however, 16 states have allowed Gay and Lesbian couples to marry, civil suits for marriage recognition have been filed in 21 more, and the U.S. Supreme Court has struck down DOMA.

'After a careful review of recent case law, the city legal department believes continued application of the charter amendment so as to deny same-sex spousal benefits would be unlawful because it treats employees differently on the basis of sexual orientation,' the mayor's office said in a statement issued November 20.

'Based on the right to equal protection under the law, it is unconstitutional for the city to continue to deny benefits to the same-sex spouses of our employees who are legally married,' Parker added. 'This change is not only the legal thing to do, it is the right, just and fair thing to do.'

MARRIED COUPLES ONLY
As a result of this policy change, same-sex spouses of city employees will now be eligible for the same health care and life insurance benefits previously offered only to opposite-sex spouses. The new policy does not apply to domestic partners, only to legally married couples.

The mayor's office said it does not know at this time how many employees will take advantage of the change because there is no way to know how many have legally recognized same-sex marriages.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the mayor herself will not be able to take advantage of the new rule, because she and her partner of 24 years, Kathy Hubbard, have not been married in a state where that is legal.

Houston joins several other Texas cities offering benefits to same-sex partners, including Austin, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, and San Antonio.

Parker's announcement could embroil Houston in a legal battle with Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who issued a nonbinding advisory opinion in April saying he believes same-sex partner benefits offered by local government entities are illegal under Texas' constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Abbott is running for governor in 2014.

The mayor's office noted in its November 20 statement that the new policy is compatible with federal rules, however.

'The city of Houston is following actions already taken by several federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, which announced in August that all legally married same-sex couples will be recognized as married for federal tax purposes, even if those couples reside in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage,' the statement says.

Tell a friend:

Share on Facebook  Share on Facebook

Post to MySpace!Share on MySpace!

    Share on Delicious

Share on StumbleUpon!

Illinois governor signs marriage law - Bishop holds 'exorcism' to cleanse state of LGBT demons
------------------------------
LGBT trailblazers honored - Obama awards Medal of Freedom to Bayard Rustin, Sally Ride
------------------------------
Queer Youth Space faces funding crisis - Group appeals to community to help keep Pike Street facility open
------------------------------
Why LGBTs should help Obamacare succeed
------------------------------
Seattle activist named to POZ 100 - Magazine honors peer advocate Kelly Hill on list of 'unsung heroes'
------------------------------
Murray announces transition plans - Mayor-elect seeks support for his agenda from a broad range of interests
------------------------------
Lyft Seattle asks supporters to petition City Council - Ridesharing service hopes to avoid being regulated as 'for-hire'
------------------------------
Missouri to recognize out-of-state marriages - Governor expresses 'hope' that in-state ban will be reconsidered
------------------------------
Same-sex benefits no problem for Houston - Mayor says denying LGBT couples equal treatment would be illegal
------------------------------
Army accused of bias against same-sex couple - Lesbian pair say they were barred from religious marriage retreat
------------------------------
State Dept. honors Transgender Day of Remembrance
------------------------------
The bigots are broke - Tax return shows NOM is $2.7 million in the hole
------------------------------
Gay Chamber honors MSNBC's Thomas Roberts
------------------------------
Injustice at work - Data show anti-LGBT discrimination still persistent, pervasive
------------------------------
Michael Jordan's daughter comes out as Lesbian
------------------------------
Musings of a past football cheerleader
------------------------------
BREAKING NEWS
------------------------------
Kiki with D: Cold feet
------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

------------------------------

click to visit advertiser's website

click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
click to visit advertiser's website
Seattle Gay Blog post your own information on
the Seattle Gay Blog
 

gay news feeds gay news readers gay rss gay
http://sgn.org/rss.xml | what is RSS? | Add to Google use Google to set up your RSS feed
SGN Calendar For Mobile Phones http://sgn.org/rssCalendarMobile.xml
SGN Calendar http://sgn.org/rssCalendar.xml

Seattle Gay News - SGN
1605 12 Ave., Ste. 31
Seattle, WA 98122

Phone 206-324-4297
Fax 206-322-7188

email: sgn2@sgn.org
website suggestions: web@sgn.org

copyright Seattle Gay News - DigitalTeamWorks 2013

USA Gay News American News American Gay News USA American Gay News United States American Lesbian News USA American Lesbian News United States USA News
Pacific Northwest News in Seattle News in Washington State News