May 6, 2010
Texas: Can Gay Couples Divorce Where They Can’t Marry?
D-I-V-O-R-C-E can be pure “H-E-double L,” as Tammy Wynette sang, but what if the government decides to get in the act and puts you in a legal and relationship limbo that promises to last for months, perhaps years. That is what is facing two Texas couples — a pair of men and a pair of women — who fell in love and married in Massachusetts and then fell out of love in Texas.
Texas appellate courts must now decide a vexing question: can couples who marry in a state that permits same-sex marriage get a divorce in Texas where the state constitution expressly forbids it? In Dallas, the male couple, simply known as J.B. and H.B. to protect their privacy, saw their amicable divorce case stall last October and head to an appeals court when Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott stepped in to call a halt to the process. Now, a lesbian couple in Austin has been put on notice that their divorce is being challenged in a second appellate court.