Appeals court reverses Texas same-sex divorce case


LGBTQ Nation

A Texas appeals court has ruled same-sex couples legally married in other states can’t get divorced in Texas. The ruling came in the case of a gay Dallas couple who had split up after getting married in Massachusetts in 2006.

In issuing the decision, the appeals court also ruled that the Texas same-sex marriage ban is constitutional.

The ruling from the 5th District Court of Appeals on Tuesday in the case, in the Matter of the Marriage of J.B. and H.B. (as they are identified in court records).

The couple filed for a divorce in Texas in January 2009. Massachusetts, which has allowed same-sex marriage since 2004, has a residency requirement for divorce.

[Equality Texas] issued this statement:

The Fifth District Court of appeals has taken the most extreme, the most conservative view possible on each issue before it. It’s not as if they wanted to just overturn the trial court’s decision, they wanted to smash it into ground and discourage anyone from ever filing a pro-LGBT suit ever again.

The ruling harkens back to a view of the world from generations past — a world where LGBT people were content to live in closets, and were afraid to demand to be treated with dignity and respect. A dignity and respect that this court goes out of its way to completely deny.

In October 2009, District Judge Tena Callahan ruled that J.B. and H.B. could obtain a divorce in Texas, saying that the state’s constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.

Callahan’s decision was immediately appealed by Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott, who argued that same-sex couples cannot divorce in Texas because the state doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage. [Dallas Voice]

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