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October 13, 2011
Gay Divorce: SB651 Opens California Divorce Courts To Non-Residents
One of the nastiest dimensions of the battle over same-sex marriage has been the lack of access to divorce courts for same-sex married couples that reside in non-recognition states. While you might think that anti-gay judges would be thrilled to help these gay couples break up, in fact that is not true. Judges in Texas, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and other states have refused to grant divorces to lesbian or gay couples who went elsewhere to get married or have relocated from the state in which they got married, on the grounds that granting a divorce would constitute a form of official recognition of their marriage. Mind you, most of these couples are not asking a judge to grant them any property or alimony based upon their marriage, since they’ve already settled those issues — they just want to get an order of dissolution. And the couples have good reasons for wanting the court order. Even if they have resolved their financial affairs, they need to get a divorce so they can be free of future liabilities, and so they will be able to marry or legally partner their new romantic interest.