Texas is quickly becoming known as the gay divorce capital of the world — or, should I say, the non-gay divorce capital. First it was The Daily Show, then it was Newsweek, and now it’s The Associated Press. The best line from the AP’s report today is this quote from Kelly Shackelford, chief counsel for the anti-gay Liberty Institute in Plano:
“It’s a backdoor run at establishing same-sex so-called marriage against the people’s vote,” Shackelford said.
A backdoor run? Did he really just use that terminology in talking about a gay divorce case? This is almost as bad as the “tea-baggers.”
Anyhow, all eyes will be on Dallas tomorrow, where the 5th District Court of Appeals is set to hear oral arguments on the issue. In the meantime, via ThinkProgress, here’s some interesting analysis of the situation from Tobias Wolff, a gay law professor at the University of Pennsylvania:
Consider what this means: Say that two men, both native to Iowa, get married and later divorce. If one decides to skip out on his obligations under the divorce decree, he can simply relocate to a place like Texas and dare his ex to come after him. If the couple were straight, the Texas courts would be required to enforce the decree. But since they’re a same-sex couple, Texas can invoke DOMA and pretend that the decree doesn’t exist, undoing all the property rights that were settled by the divorce.
There is only one word for this type of discrimination: Nasty. Texas should be ashamed.