Judge Rules Gay Couple Can Divorce in Texas, Says State’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban Violates U.S. Constitution

Despite a constitutional amendment put in place by voters and the Texas Family Code, which prohibits same-sex marriage or civil unions, Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan ruled that a gay couple can divorce in the state and "the state prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection" according to the Dallas News:

Callahan "The men married in Cambridge, Mass., in September 2006 and later returned to Dallas. J.B., citing 'discord or conflict of personalities,' sued in January to
dissolve the union in what is believed to be the first such action in
Texas. 'My client is ready to get on with his life,' Schulte said. 'We're ready to roll.' If the ruling were to stand, it would be a break from recent decisions elsewhere. An
Indiana judge last month denied the divorce of two women married in
Canada, concluding it would violate Indiana law. And two years ago, the
Rhode Island Supreme Court rejected the divorce of a lesbian couple
married in Massachusetts. Neither Indiana nor Rhode Island allow
same-sex marriage. In March 2003, a Texas court became the first
one outside Vermont to grant the dissolution of a civil union. The
judge reversed his decision after a challenge by Abbott, a Republican."

Abbott Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Governor Rick Perry expressed wingnut angst over the decision.

Said Abbott: "The laws and
constitution of the State of Texas define marriage as an institution
involving one man and one woman. Today's ruling purports to strike down
that constitutional definition – despite the fact that it was recently
adopted by 75 percent of Texas voters."

Said Perry: "Texas voters and
lawmakers have repeatedly affirmed the view that marriage is defined as
between one man and one woman. I
believe the ruling is flawed and should be appealed."

Attorney Peter Schulte, who represents the man seeking the divorce, expects the AG to appeal the decision, "but not before his client is granted a divorce decree within the next few weeks," the Dallas Voice reports.

Said Schulte: "That’s what’s significant. It’s the
first time in Texas that a court has acknowledged that there is an
issue with the way our statute and our constitution is drafted when it
comes to same-sex couples. That is huge for the community."


  1. Mark Hawkins says

    So by legally accepting what has been voted on by texan’s as not legal in itself. From my point of view this seems to open the door for a host of other laws that involve same sex marriage ” sodomy”. Then by this ruling I’m in the understanding that sodomy would be legal. So then child molestor could not be convicted of said such act since it would be considered legal if the offended and offender are same sex……… I’m confused and deeply troubled by this. What’s next child prostution oh yea silly me A.C.O.R.N enough said.

  2. bg says

    WTF Mark. You are some kind of crackpot… Your argument makes absolutely no sense. But hopefully you had fun smoking whatever you must be on.

  3. says

    Since the judge ruled under the U.S. Constitution, my guess is that the only way this would stand is if the case went all the way to the Supreme Court (theoretically possible) and that Court were to agree that the ban on gay marriage violated the U.S. Constitution. My analysis is here:

  4. says

    @ MARK HAWKINS: newsflash: the US Supreme Court, in Lawrence v. Texas, has already ruled that laws proscribing sodomy are unconstitutional. Six years ago.

  5. Will says

    It should be noted that Attorney Gen. Abbott is misleading when he says 75% of Texans voted to ban same-sex marriage. It was 75% of those who voted in that election, for which the turnout was approximately 20%. Very different thing. Just goes to show that it’s not “majority” rule when people don’t bother to vote.

  6. Mark Hawkins says

    So you make me feel that the 80% that didn’t vote would have voted to accept same sex marriage. I quess the people that did cast a ballot thank there lucky stars that the others didn’t. Or maybe you are misleading us to believe your point of veiw. I still haven’t figured your point of veiw yet. The majority does rule and any votes that are not cast are not counted as opinion on the subject.

  7. Will says

    Mark, I said nothing about how the other 80% would have voted. The fact is that polls show that about 60% of Texans do support same-sex marriage or civil unions. What I was pointing out was that Abbott claimed 75% of all voters back the ban, which simply is not true. My comment on majority rule is self-evident: 20% of registered voters (those who voted in the special election) do not embody a majority of Texans, they’re just the ones who bothered to show up. This is why I feel that those of us who support the right to marry did a lousy job in Texas getting out the vote.

  8. Mark Hawkins says

    You say “The FACT is that polls show that about 60% of Texans do SUPPORT” Please indulge me and please leave a website to verify these claims. You say that the 75% of voters did not back the ban. Again please leave website. As per my last post I still believe that you are misleading by use of certain wording and structure.

    Example FACT
    1. Knowledge or information based on real
    2. Something demonstrated to exist or known
    to have existed
    3. Something believed to be true or real


    Example OPINION
    1. A belief or conclusion held with
    confidence but not substantiated by
    positive knowledge or proof
    2. A judgment based on special knowledge and
    given by an expert
    3. A personal view, attitude, or appraisal
    4. A belief or judgement that rests on
    grounds insufficient to produce complete

    Example SUPPORT
    1. To aid the cause, policy, or interests
    2. To argue in favor of; advocate


    Example TOLERATE
    1. To allow without prohibiting or opposing;
    2. To recognize and respect (the right,
    beliefs, or practices of others).

  9. Mark Hawkins says

    The Texas Lyceum Poll 2009

    From Page 11
    Question 56

    [Gay Marriage vs. Civil Unions]
    Q56. Recently, there are some debates about what rights should be afforded to same sex couples. Some
    favor civil unions which would give them access to healthcare, retirement, and other benefits given
    to married couples. Others argue that same sex couples should have the right to marry as well.
    Still others oppose affording either of these rights to same sex couples. Which is closest to your opinion?
    32% Civil Unions Only
    25% Permit Same Sex Marriage
    36% Neither
    7% Don’t know

    I don’t see 60% of Texan support as stated prior post and please note the question notes Gay Marriage VERSES Civil Unions this is to make distinction between the two. That means they are not consider the same. There are more that I can reference if needed 7 polls to be a FACT.

  10. Mark Hawkins says

    From Recent polls

    Most Texans don’t oppose same-sex unions, but they’re split in their support for
    marriage or civil unions. While more than a third (36%) oppose either
    arrangement, 32% said they would support civil unions and another 25% think
    same-sex marriages should be permitted. The poll found a distinct partisan
    difference, with civil unions as the preference of 29% of Democrats, 31% of
    Independents and 37% of Republicans; same-sex marriage the preferred
    alternative of 36% of Democrats, 25% of Independents, and 14% of Republicans.
    Allowing neither of those alternatives was the preference of 29% of Democrats,
    35% of Independents, and 43% of Republicans.

    Not Opposed to Civil Unions BUT Are Clearly Split on Support of Gay Marriage.
    Oh yea remember there is a very real difference between Civil Union and Gay Marriage. I don’t see this more than half of Texan SUPPORT you claim. And whats funny about this poll result is that originates from a pro gay site. My self i personal don’t care how any one lives there life married or otherwise what i can’t allow is a misrepresentation of facts due to your personal beliefs.

  11. Mark Hawkins says

    I do want to say that my first post was way over the top and insulting. With that said I know the best way to get any one’s attention. It was wrong so if I get banned I will understand. I would like to say thank you for the tolerance you have shown and allow this posts. To make one thing clear is I’m trully not anti-gay just pro truth. Until both sides of the spectrum come together the first post is the norm. Again thank you for your tolerance.

  12. says

    Quite frankly, I wouldn’t give a damn if 90% of all people felt that baby jesus would commit suicide if gay marriage was allowed. The rights of a minority group should not be dictated by the majority. Polls, statistics, opinion pieces, online surveys, etc are irrelevant. A majority of people opposed ending segregation. If we went by that we would still have a state-by-state racial divide.

    Also, don’t forget that the majority of Americans are uneducated ignoramuses who can’t look past their ridiculous societal notions of how things “should” be.