Paxton Voluntarily Dismisses Lawsuit Over FMLA Benefits for Same-Sex Couples in Texas

by Angelica Leicht Posted: 07-21-15 | 2 years ago
Photo Credit: Rena Schild /

Well, it looks like Ken Paxton might stop wasting at least some of Texas’ funds fighting against same-sex rights in the Lone Star state.

The Texas attorney general, along with attorney generals in Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana and Nebraska, conceded their lawsuit Friday against the Obama administration over medical leave benefits for certain same-sex couples.

The attorney generals filed the lawsuit with the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of Texas earlier this year over the rule change made to the federal Family and Medical Leave Act that granted time off to legally married same-sex couples. The change applied to federal and state employees as well as private-sector employees at workplaces with 50 or more employees.

But the rule change was implemented prior to the Supreme Court’s June 26 ruling requiring all states to recognize same-sex marriage, and would have only affected Texas couples who were legally married in other states. With the sweeping legalization of same-sex marriage across the nation, we’re guessing very little rationalization could be made for the lawsuit, and Paxton quietly conceded the case against the federal government Friday.

The state had spent at least $26,881 fighting against giving FMLA benefits to same-sex couples, according to legal costs obtained from the AG’s office by Texas Tribune.

When asked for comment on the dismissal by the Tribune, Cynthia Meyer, a spokeswoman for the AG’s office, said, “Our filing speaks for itself.”

Paxton’s office also ended its defense of the state’s now-defunct ban on same-sex marriage earlier this month. Perhaps they’re slowly coming around to the idea of equal rights? Let’s hope, since the state of Texas certainly is wasting a ton of money fighting not only the fair, but the inevitable.


Angelica Leicht

“As a former alt-weekly writer and editor, Angelica has plenty of experience in listicles and fighting the man. She now spends most of her time side-eying and listening to terrible pop music while plotting how to raise a little Texas-bred hell.”

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