A Texas judge ruled Thursday that a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts may file for divorce in Texas, even though that state does not recognize same-sex marriages. Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan’s ruling also says:
The state prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection.
The Texas Attorney General argued that
because a gay marriage isn’t recognized in Texas, a Texas court can’t dissolve one through divorce,
but Judge Callahan said Texas
has jurisdiction to hear a suit for divorce filed by persons legally married in another jurisdiction.
And Dallas attorney Peter Schulte, who represents the man who filed the divorce points out that the Texas Family Code says:
the law of this state applies to persons married elsewhere who are domiciled in this state.
Schulte noted in his filing that
Black’s Law Dictionary defines a person as a ‘human being.’
He also argued that the men had the right to divorce under Article IV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, which states, in part, that
full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records and judicial proceedings of every other state.
Judge Callahan deemed a portion of the The Family Code unconstitutional. That section prohibits the recognition of any same-sex marriage or civil union, and
it bars the state and cities from extending any legal protection or benefits that flow from such unions.
It appears that Judge Callahan does not consider divorce to be legal protection or benefit, and thus will grant the divorce.