Couple married in Mass. can’t divorce in Texas

Posted on 01 Sep 2010 at 1:44am

Texas doesn’t have to grant a divorce to a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts:

Gay couples legally married in other states cannot get a divorce in Texas, where same-sex marriage is banned, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday.

The 5th Texas Court of Appeals ruled that a Dallas district court judge didn’t have the authority to hear a divorce case involving two Dallas men who married in Massachusetts in 2006. Republican state Attorney General Greg Abbott’s office had appealed after Judge Tena Callahan, a Democrat, said she did have jurisdiction and dismissed the state’s attempt to intervene.

Now, a hetero couple married in Massachusetts can get a divorce in Texas. But, Texas doesn’t allow same-sex marriages and doesn’t have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states. Texas is “protected” by DOMA. Specifically, Section 2 of DOMA, codified as 28 USC ยง 1738C, which reads:

No State, territory, or possession of the United States, or Indian tribe, shall be required to give effect to any public act, record, or judicial proceeding of any other State, territory, possession, or tribe respecting a relationship between persons of the same sex that is treated as a marriage under the laws of such other State, territory, possession, or tribe, or a right or claim arising from such relationship.

Other legally married Americans have the freedom to move around the country, knowing their relationships are valid. But, same-sex couples don’t have that protection.

To quote Obama, DOMA really is an “abhorrent law.”




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