Could Divorce Lead to Legalizing Same Sex Marriage in Texas?

This could be one for the history books

Thirteen states have recognized same-sex marriage in the U.S., and now some very interesting means are being used in attempts to bring the change to other regions. Take Texas, whose Supreme Court now must decide whether same-sex couples can divorce in their state, a decision that has much deeper implications than appear at first glance.

Statesman.com’s Chuck Lindell reports:

The Texas Supreme Court announced Friday that it will determine whether same-sex couples, legally married in other states, can be granted a divorce in Texas.

The cases, involving couples from Austin and Dallas, will be the first test of Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court determined this summer that marriage laws can be unconstitutional if they relegate legally married same-sex couples to second-class status.

Oral argument will be Nov. 5, and a ruling isn’t expected for months afterward.

Attorney General Greg Abbott argues that Texas law not only limits marriage to opposite-sex couples, it forbids any action — including divorce — that recognizes or validates a same-sex marriage obtained out of state.

Lawyers for the couples, two Austin women and two Dallas men who were married in Massachusetts, say Abbott lacks the authority to intervene in their lives because divorce is a private matter that does not obligate Texas to recognize same-sex marriages performed in another state.

But if Texas can deny same-sex couples the right to divorce, then the state’s ban on gay marriage should be overturned, the couples argue.

This is a case that divorce and family law attorneys across the nation will be watching closely, we’ll keep you updated with developments over the coming months.