A married gay couple’s divorce case has made Texas another battleground for marriage.
Though the couple, who married in Massachusetts, is simply seeking a divorce, their case became politicized with same-sex marriage advocates and opponents entering the debate.
National attention was drawn to what was a personal issue when a Dallas judge ruled last week to agree to hear the divorce case. District Judge Tena Callahan further declared the state marriage amendment and the state’s Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional. The ban violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection under the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, she ruled.
Gay marriage supporters hailed the ruling which essentially recognized same-sex marriage but traditional marriage proponents immediately came out to defend what Texas voters approved in 2005 – that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman.
“The government cannot consider issuing a ‘divorce’ for a ‘marriage’ it doesn’t recognize. Seventy-five percent of Texans in 2005 made it perfectly clear that marriage in their state is solely between one man and one woman,” said Austin R. Nimocks, senior legal counsel with the Alliance Defense Fund. “This ruling runs contrary to the voice of Texans and the historic purposes behind the state’s marriage laws.”