Thursday, April 22, 2010

Lone Gays State

According to Wikipedia Texas has the highest percentage of people with a religious affiliation in the United States. It is perhaps therefore not surprising that the subject of gay marriage and divorce is occupying quite a bit of court time over there. The Attorney General is appealing against two divorces granted to same-sex couples who married in Massachusetts, on the grounds that such marriages are not recognised in the state. If he is successful, then obviously this could present quite a problem for other such couples who have moved from the state where they married.

Presumably, this could also present a similar problem for couples who have entered into a civil partnership over here and have moved to a jurisdiction where such unions are not recognised (I don't know whether Texas recognises civil partnerships as they are not marriages). On the other hand, same-sex marriages entered into in Massachusetts are specifically recognised over here, so they can be dissolved by our courts.

Clearly, this is a mess that needs to be resolved, and the solution is simple: if a legal marriage between a heterosexual couple entered into in one jurisdiction is recognised in another jurisdiction, then surely that other jurisdiction should also recognise legal same-sex marriages entered into in the first jurisdiction? Such a rule would not, of course, force the second jurisdiction to allow same-sex marriages to take place there.

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