US: Houston ordered to stop offering benefits to gay city employees

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The US city of Houston has been ordered by a district judge to stop offering benefits to same-sex spouses of city employees.

Mayor Annise Parker’s office has already said it will appeal the ruling immediately, with a hope that the benefits will continue.

Health and life insurance benefits have been offered to gay and lesbian couples since Mayor Parker began her third term in 2013.

The move came after City Attorney David Feldman said denying the benefits based on the City Charter would be unconsitutional.

A lawsuit was filed in response to last year’s change in policy by Jared Woodfill, and District Judge Lisa Millard ordered the city to stop offering the benefits this week.