Texas Recognizes Same-Sex Divorce


As the U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage-equality decision looms, the Texas Supreme Court today declined to overturn a 2009 ruling by an Austin judge granting a divorce to a lesbian couple who had legally married out of state. According to Reuters, then Attorney General (and now Governor) Greg Abbott had originally filed a motion to block the divorce, arguing that the state, whose constitution bans same-sex marriage, could not dissolve a marriage it didn’t recognize. In a 5–3 ruling, the Texas Supreme Court concluded that Abbott had no standing to prevent the divorce, essentially on a technicality: He filed his motion too late. The state’s current attorney general, Ken Paxton, complained today that the court was wrong and had “effectively recognized same-sex divorce in Texas, contrary to the State Constitution, and without allowing the State to mount a defense.” The couple had been waiting four years to finalize their divorce. Now they can have their own country anthem too.