Texas Blocks Same-Sex Divorce

Aug 8, 2012 by

Even though same-sex marriage is not legal in Texas, a Texas appeals court has ruled that gay couples cannot get divorced in that state. Same-sex couples married in other states do not have the legal right to get divorced in the Lone Star State and must seek their relationship remedies elsewhere. It appears the Texas appellate court was worried that if the state recognized same-sex divorce, it would also have to recognize same-sex marriage and that is something the Texas legislature does not seem quite ready to do at the moment.

The ruling by the state’s 5th District Court of Appeals in Dallas reversed a prior decision that allowed gay couples to legally dissolve their marriages in Texas. Advocates of same-sex marriage in Texas say the ruling shows just how far behind the times the state is today and that they are hopeful the ruling will have limited impact in terms of legal precedent. It is thought that any appeal in the case will likely end up in front of the Texas Supreme Court.

No matter how long the gay divorce ban does, or doesn’t last on the books in Texas, the case brings up many other interesting issues. Since gay divorce is banned in the state and same-sex couples are forced by law to stay married, does that mean there is a de facto endorsement of gay marriage by the Texas court? Divorces involving transgender persons could also force a stretch in the interpretation of the law. With so many questions remaining to be answered, it is a sure bet the battle over same-sex divorce in Texas is not over yet and there will surely be more to come in the case.


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