"Pidgeon and the Mayor, like many other litigants throughout the country, must now assist the courts in fully exploring Obergefell's reach and ramifications, and are entitled to the opportunity to do so", Justice Jeffrey Boyd wrote in the Texas Supreme Court's decision, which sends the case back to the original trial court in Houston.
In 2015, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld a lower court ruling that says prosecutors properly explained their reasons from excluding potential black jurors from serving.
The case that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court for oral arguments on December 5 is a showdown between a gay couple from Colorado and a Denver-area baker who in 2012 cited his Christian faith in refusing to make a cake for their wedding celebration.
The Texas court merely said that the decision in Obergefell v. Hodges did not answer or resolve all marriage-related questions, including whether governments must provide the same benefits to same-sex couples that are provided to opposite-sex couples, the lawyers argued. While Houston's appeal was pending, however, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned state bans on gay marriage in June 2015, ruling that they treated gay couples as second-class citizens in violation of the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection.
The justice said although Floyd's framing of the arguments in his petition undercut his request for review, in any other context "courts reviewing claims in circumstances like these must be steadfast in identifying, investigating, and correcting for improper bias in the jury selection process".
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Houston mayor Sylvester Turner said in June that Houston would continue to be an inclusive city that respects the legal marriages of all employees. That led the 14th Court of Appeals to allow the same-sex spousal benefits, under the argument that Obergefell had settled it.
Sarah Kate Ellis, the president and CEO of GLAAD, an LGBTQ advocacy organization, said the court's decision not to take the case opens the door for states to chip away at the rights of LGBTQ Americans.
A Houston district court will consider a lawsuit challenging Houston's policy of offering spousal benefits to same-sex employees.
The ruling returned the lawsuit to a Houston district court to determine whether the U.S. Supreme Court's marriage ruling applies to spousal benefits provided by Houston.