One Dallas, Texas, couple’s uncontested divorce has dragged on for four years now, and it might leave them wondering if their case will ever come to a resolution.
The divorce is not a traditional one, though. At least, it is not one that the laws in Texas are equipped to handle. The couple is comprised of two homosexual males, who married during 2006 in Massachusetts, where gay marriage and divorce is recognized under law.
The couple’s divorce had the potential to be a quick and easy one. The decision was completely amicable. However, when they filed their divorce petition, the Attorney General for the state of Texas stepped in to challenge it. He pointed out that because same-sex marriage is banned under the state’s constitution, the state is not permitted to grant sex-same divorces.
The attorney general was met with some opposition from a district judge in the state, which claimed that she could hear the couple’s case. She also said that the state’s stance on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional all together.
Still, the attorney general appealed the judge’s decision and an appeals court sided with him. One of the men involved in the divorce appealed the case to the state’s high court, where it remains. No proceedings in the case have been scheduled, but the Supreme Court did request briefs from the case, in addition to a similar case out of Austin, Texas.
There is no telling when the state Supreme Court will hear the case. An attorney for the couple suggested it might wait to see how the United States Supreme Court rules on two marriage equality issues.
While this couple’s divorce woes might not be something heterosexual couples in Texas need to worry about, the case does highlight how divorce laws in many states are not keeping pace with quickly evolving social structure of the American people.
Source: DallasVoice.com, “4 years later, divorce-seeking gay Dallas couple J.B. and H.B. remain in ‘limbo’,” John Wright, Jan. 16, 2013