February 18, 2010
AUSTIN: Texas would not let them marry, now it won’t let them divorce. The state’s attorney-general, Greg Abbott, has intervened in a same-sex divorce case, arguing that the women involved, who were married in another state, may not be legally granted a divorce because Texas law defines marriage as between a man and a woman.
Angelique Naylor, 39, and Sabina Daly, 41, married in 2004 in Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal. They returned to their home in Austin and together adopted a son, who is now four. They have been separated for more than a year.
Last week, at the close of a two-day court hearing on how they should divide their property and share custody of their son, the two reached an agreement that in part called for them to divorce.
Judge Scott Jenkins granted the divorce orally and ordered the parties to put their agreement in writing and return to court next month for his signature, according to Ms Naylor’s lawyer, Jennifer Cochran.
‘‘This is the first time in over a year that our family has been at peace,’’ said Ms Naylor, who still lives in Austin. Her estranged wife Ms Daly has moved to San Antonio with their son.
‘‘We never asked them to grant us a same-sex marriage. We only asked them to legally recognise that we needed a divorce,’’ Ms Naylor said.
The spokesman for the attorney-general 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.’’
This is not the first time that Mr Abbott’s office has sought to intervene in a Texas same-sex divorce case.
He did so before when a Texas District Judge ruled last October that two men could divorce in Texas.
The judge ruled in that case that the prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the right to equal protection under the US constitution.
Massachusetts became the first state to legalise gay marriage, after a November 2003 decision by the state’s highest court.
Same-sex couples also may marry in Vermont, Connecticut, Iowa and New Hampshire.
Texas is one of numerous states that have passed constitutional amendments banning gay marriage.
The Texas amendment, passed by the legislature in 2005 and approved by 76 per cent of voters, defines marriage as between one man and one woman.
IMHO- This switching state to state is manipulating the system. If they wanted to have a recognized same sex marriage, they should have remained where it was recognized…you cant run off and do something you know the state doesnt agree with, come back and expect the state to cater to YOU…am I the only person left that doesnt think the world revolves around them??