Thursday, October 1, 2009

Texas judge rules that state constitutonal and statutory bans on same-sex marriage violate equal protection under 14th Amendment

Modified 10/01/09 entry

I have removed identifying information about this case. I now realize that I did not exercise the care that disclosure in the case requires, even if the public record provides identifying information. Parties have requested that they not be identified for fear of reprisal from an employer and others in their community. I do not know whether the stated privacy interest trumps the public's interest, or whether disclosure of names advances a public interest. But because I can not reach a conclusion that inspires confidence, I would rather defer to the request of the parties.

10/01/09 Dallas Morning News:
In a first for Texas and a sweeping rejection of the state’s ban on gay marriage, a judge has cleared the way for two gay Dallas men to divorce ... Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan ruled Thursday that the state's bans on same-sex marriage violates the constitutional guarantee to equal protection under the law ... Attorney General [Greg] Abbott said he would appeal the ruling "to defend the traditional definition of marriage that was approved by Texas voters."

The case is In the Matter of the Marriage of J.B. and H.B. (Tx. Dallas County 302nd Dist. Ct.). Here is an earlier Dallas Morning News article about the case.

News added 10/02/09

10/03/09 NY Times:
The case highlights a subtle way gay men and lesbians often face complications when it comes to marriage: gay couples who have managed to marry in the few states where it is legal have trouble divorcing and dividing their property if they move to a state where it is not. In the last two years, courts in Indiana, Oklahoma and Rhode Island, for instance, have denied divorces to same-sex couples who had been married in other jurisdictions. All three have laws against gay nuptials. Courts in a few other states, notably New York and New Jersey, have allowed divorces to go forward for gay men and lesbians married in other states, even though they do not allow same-sex marriages.

1 comment:

Michael said...

i see you named the petitioners yesterday and also found the case number from the dallas courts. here is my post on some aspects of this case:

http://mpetrelis.blogspot.com/2009/10/naming-gays-in-tx-marriage-case-judges.html

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