Until recently, laws on same-sex marriage varied from state to state. On June, 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Obergefell v. Hodges that the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry. The Supreme Court held that every state must allow marriages between two people of the same sex and must also recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-state.
Prior to the Supreme Court’s Obergefell decision, Texas prohibited same-sex marriage and did not recognize same-sex marriages legally entered into in other jurisdictions. As a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, Texas must allow same-sex couples to marry and it must recognize same-sex marriages that are legally entered into in other jurisdictions.
Thus, all married couples (same-sex or opposite-sex) should have the same benefits, rights and protections under Texas law. Any employee benefits governed by state law (for example, state continuation coverage rights) should apply equally to same-sex and opposite-sex spouses. Also, Texas does not have a state income tax on wages. Health plan coverage for same-sex spouses is tax-free at both the federal and state levels in Texas.
For details regarding this decision and how it may affect your business, please click HERE for Employment Law Summary, provided by ABM Insurance & Benefit Services, Inc.