Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is trying to stop the divorce of two women in Austin on grounds their Massachusetts marriage is not legally recognized in the Lone Star state.
Last week, a Travis County state district judge granted a divorce in court to Sabina Daly, 41, of San Antonio, and Angelique Naylor, 39, of Austin. Abbott’s aides went to court the following day to block the divorce before the written decree was entered.
According to the Austin American-Statesman:
Abbott spokesman Jerry Strickland said in a statement, “The State maintains that the Court has no legal authority to grant this divorce, and as a result, the State must intervene in this case to defend the Texas Constitution.”
Abbott’s petition in intervention was filed Thursday after the agreement was reached in court. In it, Abbott notes that after Naylor filed for divorce in December, Daly argued that divorce was the wrong legal remedy for the couple and that the court should instead declare the marriage void.
This is not the first time that the Attorney General has intervened in a Texas same-sex divorce case. Abbot took similar action last October before District Judge Tena Callahan in Dallas County ruled that two men could divorce in Texas.
Callahan ruled in that case that the prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the right to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution.
Abbott has appealed the ruling. It is pending in the state’s 5th Court of Appeals.