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Attorney files first ever same-sex divorce petition in Texas

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Lawyer From Dallas Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:41 PM
Original message
Attorney files first ever same-sex divorce petition in Texas
Hey everyone,

Today, my law partner filed the first ever same-sex divorce petition in Texas on behalf of our client, a gay man who was legally married in Massachusetts in 2006 to his same-sex partner. The married couple moved to TX shortly after they were legally married in MA, but now they want a divorce.

As many of you might know, before any married couple can get a divorce, they must first meet a "residency requirement" in the state and county where they file the petition for divorce. That residency requirement is usually 6 months...meaning, they have to have lived there for 6 months. In this case, the gay couple has easily met that residency requirement in TX. If they happened to be heterosexual, the divorce would go through with no problem.

However, quite obviously, TX does not recognize gay marriage. So it will be interesting to see if the court grants the divorce, or denies it on "jurisdictional" grounds. If denied, our clients plan to appeal it up to the highest court possible. After all...it is unreasonable to force them to move BACK to Massachusetts and force them to live in MA for 6 months just to be eligible to divorce there, when a heterosexual couple in the same circumstances (e.g., married in MA, moved to TX, been in TX for 6 months) could get their divorce in TX with no problems! The situation obviously raises both an Equal Protection argument, as well as issues surrounding the Full Faith & Credit Clause.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Especially in TEXAS.

Here is the breaking news story: http://www.dallasvoice.com/instant-tea/2009/01/21/break...
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Lex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Precisely why all states will have to come into alignment on equal marriage rights.
nt

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JuniperLea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:44 PM
Response to Original message
2. This should get all lawyers behind gay marriage...
I always knew it would wind up creating a new revenue stream for them. I've never known a gay couple that wasn't exactly like a straight couple... 'cept for the, you know :blush:
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Veritas_et_Aequitas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:46 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks and keep us posted on this.
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Not Me Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:48 PM
Response to Original message
4. I am thinking they won't hear it.
By adjudicating the case, it would seem that they are recognizing same sex marriage in TX.

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Lawyer From Dallas Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I suppose that is what we're expecting
The judge may likely decline to rule on the case on "jurisdictional grounds." Specifically, the judge might say she cannot grant or deny the petition for divorce, since technically there is no "marriage" to be divorced.

Luckily, this particular judge in Dallas is a Democrat and seems excited to have received the case, so we'll see...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
5. well i am amused it is texas -- but i don't expect much to come of it. nt
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MajorChode Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
11. If Texas blows it off, the case could easily go to the USSC
Without a national amendment against gay marriage, it will be pretty hard for Texas to successfully deny the petition. It could even potentially invalidate the Texas ban on gay marriage due to equal protection guarantees in the US Constitution.

It is cases like these that will eventually chip away at the gay marriage issue on a national level. Since the public's attitude towards the subject is changing, it will only be a matter of time before this type of bigotry is defeated.
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:16 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. if that happens -- cool. nt
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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:56 PM
Response to Original message
7. Hopefully the judge will hear it.
And we will find out if the Full Faith & Credit clause applies in Texas, and if the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment applies as well.


Texas - being dragged kicking and screaming into the 2nd half of the Nineteenth Century.
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Lawyer From Dallas Donating Member (13 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. LOL
That's what we're hoping to do...dragging and kicking...LOL. This is Texas. Gay people have nothing to lose, because they've already got every disadvantage known to human kind.
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rug Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:02 PM
Response to Original message
9. Texas will not divorce gay spouses yet will convey common law marriage status on straught couples.
:silly:
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uppityperson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-21-09 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
10. This will be interesting, please keep us posted.
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