“Supreme Court Justice John Devine Is Divine”
By Donna Garner

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Back on Nov. 20, 2013, the lesbian mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, decided by mayoral fiat to give benefits to the spouses of same-sex employees. She referred to Windsor vs. United States in which the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) had been struck down. DOMA stated that federal government entities could not recognize same-sex marriages as legal in the states in which they had been performed.

A group of Houston petitioners (Jack Pidgeon and Larry Hicks) filed a lawsuit in 2013 against Sylvester Turner (who had become Houston’s mayor) and also against the City of Houston. The case is No. 21-0510.

Five years ago the Texas Supreme Court decided to review the case for the 14th District of Texas.  The public can view the progression of this case by going to this Texas Supreme Court link: https://search.txcourts.gov/Case.aspx?cn=21-0510&coa=cossup

Yesterday on 5.27.22, Texas Supreme Court Justice John Devine wrote a dissent against the decision made by the other Supreme Court Justices who decided the case is basically “dead” and does not need to be reviewed any more. Here is the link to Justice Devine’s dissent:


Justice Devine argues that the foundational issues in Pidgeon vs. Hicks have never been decided by either the Texas Supreme Court nor by the U. S. Supreme Court in its Obergefell and U. S. v. Windsor case.

Here is the situation behind Justice Devine’s dissent:

The Houston taxpayers (Pidgeon/Hicks) are saying that it is illegal for the Mayor/City of Houston to take taxpayers’ dollars, violating Texas law, and give  benefits (e.g., healthcare) to Houston employees’ same-sex partners.

The Texas Constitution states that “legal spouses” are defined as: (a) Marriage in this state shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. (b) This state or a political subdivision of this state may not create or recognize any legal status identical or similar to marriage.

Not only that but the Texas Family Code clearly prohibits Texas or the City of Houston from “giv[ing] effect to a . . . right or claim to any legal protection, benefit, or responsibility asserted as a result of a marriage between persons of the same sex or a civil union in this state or in any other jurisdiction.”

Justice Devine asserts that since the Texas Supreme Court and/or the U. S. Supreme Court have never invalidated those two provisions (in the Texas Constitution and also in the Texas Family Code), then Pidgeon/Hicks have a right to have their case heard; and it is wrong for the Texas Supremes to assume otherwise.

Unfortunately, the other Texas Supreme Court justices decided to “kill” the Pidgeon/Hicks case even though the Texas Constitution/Texas Family Code define marriage as between “one man and one woman”; and those provisions have never been invalidated.

Justice Devine pointed out in his dissent, “…federal statutes aren’t state statutes, and to decide that a federal statute is unconstitutional is not to say that a state statute is, too, however similar the laws may be.”

He also stated that the U. S. Supremes’ Obergefell decision holds same-sex couples may get married and that all states must now allow those couples to get a marriage license and to be married; but that’s it – nothing more!  Obergefell did NOT go any further by saying that states MUST grant all of the same benefits to same-sex couples as to heterosexual marriages. That is an assumption and is not Supreme Court law.

In other words, Justice Devine believes justices need to follow exactly what the laws state and not to presume or interpret something that is not there.   

This makes lots of sense to me because if all judges/justices in the U. S. start “interpreting” or “presuming” what the law says based upon their own personal opinions, then pretty soon we would have no laws at all!

Let’s be honest. That is what is happening in so many U. S. courts right now, and that is why out-of-control lawlessness and the degeneration of our nation continues.

The Constitution and the Texas Constitution are not “living” documents that can change at the whim of what is popular thought at the time.

Here is the truth: An opinion is just that – someone’s personal opinion; and everyone has one!

Thank God for Justice John Devine who honors what is in the law and not just some passing fancy at the time.

Please go to this link to read Justice John Devine’s brilliant argument for allowing the Pidgeon/Hicks case to be heard: https://search.txcourts.gov/SearchMedia.aspx?MediaVersionID=fa1fbd92-9271-4799-a089-02dd5f9260de&coa=cossup&DT=OTHER&MediaID=ae0c2948-7861-4421-a308-d9570624def8