Supreme Court Marriage Ruling Brings Ray of Hope to Gays Anxious for Divorce

Thursday, July 04, 2013

The recent rulings by the U.S. Supreme Court in support of gay marriage was good news for homosexuals wanting to get married—and for others looking to get divorced.


Since gay marriage became legal in some states, couples whose relationships have soured have found themselves unable to legally end their union.


Take Adam Cardinal for example.


He got married in New Hampshire to another man, and then the couple moved to Florida. Three years into the marriage, the two decided to divorce—something they can’t do in the Sunshine State because it does not recognize their marriage.


Now, however, the Supreme Court’s decisions regarding the federal Defense of Marriage Act (pdf) and Proposition 8 in California could provide a basis for challenges to state laws that ban homosexual marriage (and indirectly divorce).


“I think that there’s some reason to be optimistic that we might be able to see the end of these statewide marriage bans, which would have lots of positive effects, including being able to free people from relationships they no longer want to be in,” Elizabeth F. Schwartz, a family law and estate lawyer and gay rights advocate in Miami Beach, told The New York Times.


Schwartz says her office has received numerous phone calls since the court’s rulings from gays and lesbians wondering if they will be able to get divorced now. She said it might take some time, but the outlook is better than ever.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage May Help Resolve Status of Divorce (by Erica Goode, New York Times)

States That Allow Same-Sex Marriage Have Lower Divorce Rates (by Edward McClelland, NBC Chicago)

Congratulations, Gay People: You Now Have the Legal Right to Be As Miserable As the Rest of Us (by Will Durst, AlterNet)

Judge Orders Lesbian Couple to Stop Living Together (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)      

Gay Marriage is Good for the Economy (by David Wallechinsky, AllGov)


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