Sunday, May 2, 2010

Time reports on two same-sex divorce cases in Texas

Texas Attorney General Gregory Abbott has filed appeals in two same-sex divorce cases because the judges denied his respective motions to intervene. The 5th District Court of Appeals in Dallas recently heard oral argument in In the Matter of the Marriage of J.B. and H.B. (Prop. 8 and the Right to Marry). While this case was pending, Austin Judge Scott Jenkins granted a divorce decree to a former same-sex couple. Time describes the circumstances leading to the appeal from the divorce decree (Texas v. Naylor and Daly):
The divorce had been granted, the decree signed and the last legal step — the final order — was imminent when a representative of the Texas Attorney General's Office arrived in court to object on the grounds that the marriage was never legal in Texas. Judge Jenkins posed several questions to the AG's office: Did the AG really want to pursue this action since the state was already litigating a same-sex appellate case in Dallas? Had the AG's office given any consideration to the impact of the appeal on the couple's adopted four-year-old son and the custody arrangement included in the divorce decree? "The wise and merciful thing to do in this case is to simply leave these parties alone." Judge Jenkins told the Austin American Statesman after he signed the final order over the AG's objections.


Michael Ejercito said...

The Texas AG believes that the Texas law forbids divorces for same-sex couples.

Michael Ejercito said...

The Texas 5th Circuit had held that Texas law does not empower the state to grant divorces to same-sex couples married in other jurisdictions, and that the refusal to do so does not violate the 14th Amendment.

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