CommunityFDL Main Blog

Texas-Two Step: Same-Sex Divorce Before Marriage Equality?

Bill of Divorce - indiamos

“Bill of Divorce” courtesy of indiamos

A Texas judge ruled Thursday that a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts may file for divorce in Texas, even though that state does not recognize same-sex marriages. Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan’s ruling also says:

The state prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection.

The Texas Attorney General argued that

because a gay marriage isn’t recognized in Texas, a Texas court can’t dissolve one through divorce,

but Judge Callahan said Texas

has jurisdiction to hear a suit for divorce filed by persons legally married in another jurisdiction.

And Dallas attorney Peter Schulte, who represents the man who filed the divorce points out that the Texas Family Code says:

the law of this state applies to persons married elsewhere who are domiciled in this state.

Schulte noted in his filing that

Black’s Law Dictionary defines a person as a ‘human being.’

He also argued that the men had the right to divorce under Article IV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, which states, in part, that

full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state.

Judge Callahan deemed a portion of the The Family Code unconstitutional. That section prohibits the recognition of any same-sex marriage or civil union, and

it bars the state and cities from extending any legal protection or benefits that flow from such unions.

It appears that Judge Callahan does not consider divorce to be legal protection or benefit, and thus will grant the divorce.

CommunityLaFiga

Texas-Two Step: Same-Sex Divorce Before Marriage Equality?

A Texas judge ruled Thursday that a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts may file for divorce in Texas, even though that state does not recognize same-sex marriages. Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan’s ruling also says:

The state prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection.

The Texas Attorney General argued that

because a gay marriage isn’t recognized in Texas, a Texas court can’t dissolve one through divorce,

but Judge Callahan said Texas

has jurisdiction to hear a suit for divorce filed by persons legally married in another jurisdiction.

And Dallas attorney Peter Schulte, who represents the man who filed the divorce points out that the Texas Family Code says:

the law of this state applies to persons married elsewhere who are domiciled in this state.

Schulte noted in his filing that

Black’s Law Dictionary defines a person as a ‘human being.’   

He also argued that the men had the right to divorce under Article IV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, which states, in part, that

full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state.

Judge Callahan deemed a portion of the The Family Code unconstitutional. That section prohibits the recognition of any same-sex marriage or civil union, and

it bars the state and cities from extending any legal protection or benefits that flow from such unions.

It appears that Judge Callahan does not consider divorce to be legal protection or benefit, and thus will grant the divorce.

Previous post

Action Alert: Support the Bar Ethics Grievance Filed Against Sen. Vitter

Next post

"I'm Glad I Lost, Because I Now Know That I Was Wrong"

Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.