Although the state of Texas has a ban on same-sex marriages, same-sex couples who were legally married in other states may now receive health care and life insurance benefits in the city of Houston. The new city policy was announced by officials on Nov. 20. Houston had previously denied same-sex benefits after voters approved a city charter amendment in 2001.
Since the Supreme Court shut down part of the federal Defense of Marriage Act in June, family law matters have arisen relating to the rights of same-sex married couples in receiving federal tax, health and pension benefits. In August, the IRS announced that legally married same-sex couples would be recognized as married for federal tax purposes, even if the couples are living in states that do not recognize the marriage as valid.