Texas Appeals Court Rejects Judge’s Ruling Allowing Gay Divorce

The Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas today reversed an October 2009 decision by District Judge Tena Callahan allowing a same-sex divorce, with instructions to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction, the Dallas Morning News reports.

Callahan In her 2009 decision, Callahan ruled that "the state prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection" and ruled that two men married in Massachusetts in September 2006 could divorce in the state.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Governor Rick Perry expressed angst over Callahan's ruling.

Said Abbott at the time: "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."

Added 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."

Abbott appealed. Arguments were heard in April.

Today the court rejected Callahan's ruling: "Same-sex marriages or civil unions are prohibited by a voter-approved amendment to the state Constitution and the Texas Family Code. The appeals court said today that the trial court wrongly ruled that those provisions violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment."

Comments

  1. Rob says

    Thanks, Mike, for posting your clarification. This ruling by a STATE OF TEXAS appellate court is NOT on the same judicial level as, so far, the recent California Prop 8 ruling by a FEDERAL court judge in the Ninth Circuit Court based in San Francisco. HOWEVER, it still sucks for many of us who reside here in right wing GOP-dominated Texas and have to put up with this homophobic crap. And, no, I’ve no intentions of relocating!

  2. says

    There is going to be no harm to the general society to allow homosexuals to marry. In the past it has shown banning or making illegal any human behavior causes more harm than good. Regulation is better. But there need not be regulation on homosexuality.

  3. Ben in Oakland says

    Amnd i think the good ‘ol boys just set up a lawsuit to challenge Texas DOMA. If any married striaght couple can get a divorce, then so should any other married couple.

  4. says

    If you put politics aside (difficult when it comes to this topic, I’ll admit), it seems to make economic sense for states to grant divorce to same-sex couples married in other states, even if the state granting to divorce doesn’t perform SSM.

    It allows the couple to move on with their respective lives and careers, and it allows property to be divided between them in an orderly fashion, which would lead the owners making productive use of it ASAP, rather than spending a long time fighting over it.

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