Pidgeon v. Turner (Parker) Round II: LGBT Case Thrown Out In Federal Court
By Jared Woodfill
President Conservative Republicans of Texas
Many of you have followed our case against the City of Houston regarding its refusal to follow Texas Law and continue to pay same-sex benefits using taxpayer dollars. The case is styled Jack Pidgeon (Pastor) and Larry Hicks v. City of Houston and Mayor Sylvester Turner. As you may recall, we took the case to the Texas Supreme Court and won a 9-0 victory. The City of Houston is now trying to get the United States Supreme Court to hear the case. I will keep you posted as we receive more information.
Many don’t realize that LGBT activists, Lambda Legal, have also sued Houston taxpayer and pastor,Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks in federal court because they are defending our Texas laws in the state court case we just won in front of the Texas Supreme Court. In the federal court case, several same homosexual couples sued to force the City of Houston to keep providing same sex benefits to them, even though the City of Houston is currently providing same sex benefits and spending countless taxpayer time and resources to advocate for this same position in court, and has been clearly aligned with Lambda Legal’s position throughout this conflict.
Pidgeon and Hicks have no ability to enforce state law or provide benefits to same sex couples, but they were sued by Lambda Legal anyway. So, it appears Lambda Legal filed this federal lawsuit to stop the state court case that is not going their way, which court precedent does not allow.
The dismissal order, by Judge Vanessa Gilmore, declares the plaintiff’s assertions as moot, while adopting all the arguments made by our legal team. The name of the case is Freeman v. Turner.
This frivilouos lawsuit filed by the LGBT left is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate and punish regular Texans who want the government to follow the law. We are glad the judge saw through this collusion and threw this case out. This dismissal gives us hope that taxpayer efforts still matter.
Jonthan Saenz and I have been representing Pidgeon and Hicks since 2013 in an effort to ensure that the City of Houston follows Texas law that prevents taxpayer dollars from being used to subsidize same sex benefits.
Lambda Legal engaged in a similar frivolous tactic by filing suit in federal court 2014 when Pidgeon and Hicks initiation their lawsuit against the City of Houston in state court.
The Texas Supreme Court ruled in June of this year that Pidgeon v. Turner may continue to be litigated, after a lower trial court temporarily stopped the City of Houston from violating state law by providing same sex benefits. An appellate court reversed but the Texas Supreme Court ruled that the lower appellate court committed an error in that ruling and sent the case back to the trial court in Houston. The City of Houston then filed a request with the U. S. Supreme Court for high court review of the Texas Supreme Court state court ruling. No decision has been made on that request at this point.
The Texas Supreme Court ruled in June that Pidgeon v. Turner may continue to be litigated. Since this case began, more than 70 elected officials including Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton have weighed-in, lending support for the plaintiffs, Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks. More information on Pidgeon v. Turner may be read here.