Justices reject Houston appeal over benefits for gay spouses

HOUSTON, Texas -- The Supreme Court has declined to step into a case over a Texas high court ruling that says gay spouses may not be entitled to government-subsidized workplace benefits.

The justices' action Monday comes without dissent or comment. It means a Texas court now will have to rule in a lawsuit from social conservatives who want to block spousal benefits for gay city employees in Houston.

Eyewitness News reached out to the mayor's office and was told, "The United States Supreme Court's decision means that further proceedings will likely be required. In the meantime, the City of Houston's policy to provide benefits remains in effect."

The case follows the Supreme Court's 2015 decision extending same-sex marriage nationwide. One issue is whether that ruling means governments must provide the same benefits to all married employees.

Texas' Supreme Court said the justices did not decide that issue.

The Texas court reversed its earlier decision to stay out of the case after coming under pressure from Gov. Greg Abbott and other leading Republicans.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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