Circuit Judge Karen Hall of Huntsville issued a two-sentence order throwing out the uncontested divorce of Shrie Michelle Richmond and Kirsten Allysse Richmond.
The other woman didn’t fight the divorce. But the judge’s decision said the case was being dismissed because laws in Alabama, which still prohibit same-sex unions, do not apply in such cases.
The Iowa Supreme Court overturned that state’s ban on gay marriages in 2009, and state law requires couples seeking a divorce in the state to live there for one year beforehand.
Attorney Patrick Hill, who represents Shrie Richmond, said neither of the women wants to move to get a divorce.
“They’re both from here in Alabama, and this is where their homes, family and friends are,” he said.
Hill said the judge “did what she needed to do under the current state of the law in Alabama.” He said he would appeal, either by asking Hall to reconsider her decision or going to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals.
Seventeen states currently recognize same-sex marriage, and differing laws between states have led to similar court decisions.
In neighboring Mississippi, a woman who was legally married to another woman is asking the state to recognize their California marriage so she can get a divorce. In Kentucky, a federal judge has struck down that state’s ban on recognizing same-sex marriages performed in other states, and couples in Missouri are challenging a similar law there.
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