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Texas Supreme Court to consider same sex divorce cases

| Aug 28, 2013 | Uncategorized

This fall, the Texas Supreme Court will hear arguments on two cases that have the potential of changing how the Texas Family Code addresses same sex marriage (as well as divorces). The cases involve one lesbian couple from Austin and one gay couple from Dallas; both of whom were legally married in Massachusetts. The two couples have tried (albeit unsuccesfully this far) to obtain a divorce in Texas.

The Austin case asks the high court to consider whether the United States Constitution requires Texas to grant same sex couples divorces even though the state does not recognize same sex marriages. The couple argues that the full faith and credit provision compels Texas to give them legal standing in order to divorce, regardless of the state’s voter instituted ban on same sex marriage.

Likewise, the Dallas case asks whether the state’s constitutional ban amounts to a ban on same sex divorces as well.

Texas’ Attorney General, Greg Abbott argued in a brief that the Texas Family Code prohibits state agencies from recognizing a marriage that violates the state’s constitutional ban. He also claims that recognition of same sex divorce would amount to a de facto recognition of such marriages. The issue has become a prominent one because more people who have been married in states where same sex marriage is legal are moving to Texas.

Also, the inconsistencies between Texas law and federal law merits a review from the Supreme Court. The case is bound to enflame passions on both sides of the issue. Oral argument is set for November 5th

Source: Advocate.com, Texas Supreme Court to consider gay divorce, August 26, 2013

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