Houston has announced it will provide benefits to legally married same-sex spouses of city employees.
Those couples who take advantage of the new policy will have been married in other states as Texas bans same-sex unions.
The announcement Wednesday flouts an opinion issued in April by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott saying local governments and school districts that offer same-sex domestic partner benefits are violating the state constitution.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker said Wednesday the decision is based on a city legal department interpretation of recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions and other relevant case law from the around the country.
In September, the Texas National Guard refused a Pentagon directive to process applications for military benefits for same-sex couples, citing state law that does not recognize gay marriage.