Follow breaking news @lgbtqnation

Texas high court to consider state jurisdiction over same-sex divorces

Saturday, August 24, 2013

AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court says it will consider whether the state has jurisdiction over same-sex divorces and the constitutionality of the state’s law banning same-sex marriage.

The court will hold oral arguments on Nov. 5 for two cases presented by Dallas and Austin same sex-couples who married legally in Massachusetts. Texas voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional ban on gay marriage in 2005.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said in a brief that the state would benefit from the court’s ruling on the issue and declaring the ban on same-sex marriage does not violate the U.S Constitution.

In one of the cases, a woman wanting to divorce her wife argues that Texas’ family code allows for same-sex divorce and the U.S. Constitution requires courts in Texas to grant her a divorce.

The state intervened because, Abbot said in a brief, the Texas’ family code prohibits the state and its agencies from giving effect to any public record or judicial proceeding that creates, recognizes or validates marriage of persons of the same sex. By definition, Abbot continues, the divorce petitioner was asking the court to give effect to her same-sex marriage.

The other case, involving two men, also asks the court whether Texas family code is consistent with the U.S. Constitution and whether the section of the Texas’ family code that prohibits same-sex marriage can be interpreted to ban same-sex divorce as well.

One of the men wanting to be divorced argued in a court brief that it’s increasingly likely that more and more same-sex couples will file for divorce in Texas, and he said it’s important for a state Supreme Court to rule on the issue.

“Over 28 percent of the U.S. population lives in a jurisdiction where same-sex marriage is permitted. Texas is one of the fastest growing states – attracting thousands of migrants each year, including couples from those states that permit same-sex mar riage,” he said in the brief.

The U.S. Supreme Court in June struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act because it treated same-sex couples unequally.

Abbot said in a brief addressing the recent U.S. Supreme Court rulings on gay marriage issues that Texas residents “voted overwhelmingly to affirm the traditional understanding of marriage and to recognize marriages between one man and one woman.”

© 2013, Associated Press, All Rights Reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Share this article with your friends and followers:

Archives: , , , ,

Filed under: Texas

19 more reader comments:

  1. I´ll stay out of your collective ass TEXAS if you´ll do the favor and repeal the HATE LEGISLATION from just less than ten years ago.

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 7:01pm
  2. I´m sorry… I thought global warming was a problem, not Hell freezing over… We´ll see how far it gets, but the fact Texas is even “considering it”… I can see ice forming…

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 7:05pm
  3. figures. no same-sex marriage but they´re all too happy to consider same-sex divorce.

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 7:07pm
  4. Randy – “The Texas Supreme Court says it will consider whether the state has jurisdiction over same-sex divorces and the constitutionality of the state’s law banning same-sex marriage.”

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 7:09pm
  5. so much texas news.. i am so not proud of where I´m born at all

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 7:15pm
  6. This is an issue that came up about 8 years back when Massachusetts was then the only state that legalized gay marriage. And a couple tried to divorce in Rhode Island. It unfairly was seen as bigotry when RI denied the right to the divorce citing that because (at the time) it did not sanction same-sex marriages, it did not have the authority to have their RI divorce courts dissolve the Massachusetts same-sex marriage. I agree with that. I don´t consider that decision as bigoted.

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 7:20pm
  7. Such a BIG state. I wish they´d drag themselves into the 20th century.

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 7:25pm
  8. JoAnne, I know it would be nice if Texas moved forward into the 20th century, but I would like it if they moved all the way to the 21st century with the rest of us :)

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 7:37pm
  9. I am all for giving them back to Mexico.

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 8:02pm
  10. Hey Texas is a wonderful state and they are in the 21st century. You need to understand the mindset in Texas and Oklahoma. They are the only two states who can legally cecide from the union. Just a few people who want to throw religion into the mess of things. You know if it is fought enough they can not keep LGBTQ community of getting married. DoMA was found unconsitutional. That is why the military will let people go to another state if the state they are stationed at says it is illegal. If someone can help me I will get a petition going for Oklahoma and take it to the capital and fight for same sex marriage. I just don´t know how to get one started.

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 8:15pm
  11. If they allow Gay Marriage in Texas the entire South will fall again. This is the Second Civil War in our history.

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 8:35pm
  12. @Suellyn Hardway- Texas can´t legally secede anymore; that was part of the terms to come back. And not all of us fit into that single mind frame, thank you very much.

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 8:46pm
  13. states rights = old time redneck crap

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 11:14pm
  14. Texas has already had at least on divorce, Martina and Judy many years ago.

    Posted on Saturday, August 24, 2013 at 11:25pm
  15. Well the conversation at least starts in Texas…there may really be a God.

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 1:28am
  16. How can any state that bans and/or does not recognize legal same sex marriages performed elsewhere even have the temerity to want to rule in divorces of marriages they deny exist? I understand the motives here, but still…this could end badly with Texas still refusing to allow or recognize same sex marriages but decide they have jurisdiction over same sex divorces,which could open up a whole shit load of nastiness and discrimination.

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 2:10am
  17. it doesnt have the right because they dont allow gay marriage…

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 2:21am
  18. But when constitutionally provides equal protection, due process, and most importantly full faith and credit, the court has to take up the case. Contracts in one state are required to be honored by the other states. A marriage in one state must be recognized by another, even when that state itself doesn´t allow the marriage to commence on its territory. Those are the issues that the state court must address. And since the federal government is superior to the state governments (as the Constitution says), then federal precedent will hold, especially with the overturning of DOMA. This is what the court must work out.

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 3:54am
  19. Why is it complicated, it wouldn´t be if they were strait

    Posted on Sunday, August 25, 2013 at 12:33pm