Harris County GOP sues Houston over same-sex benefits

12/18/2013

HOUSTON (AP) - Harris County Republicans have sued the city of Houston over its extension of health and life insurance benefits last month to legally married same-sex spouses of city employees.

Jared Woodfill, chairman of the Harris County Republican party says the city acted unilaterally.

The lawsuit filed in state District court alleges the mechanism used by Mayor Annise Parker, who is openly gay, violated the city charter, the state Defense of Marriage Act and Texas Constitution.

City Attorney David Feldman said he expected the lawsuit would be thrown out because the filers did not appear to have legal standing.

An opinion issued in April by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said local governments offering such benefits are violating the state constitution.


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