Pennsylvania Lawmaker to Introduce Gay Divorce Legislation

Pennsylvania state Rep. Mike Schlossberg (D-LEhigh) said this week that he plans to introduce legislation granting gay married couples (who married elsewhere, since it's not legal in PA) the ability to divorce in the state, the Express-Times reports:

Schlossberg"A divorce is an emotionally and financially draining situation as it is, so imagine if you were trapped in a marriage and couldn't legally get out of it and were being denied that legal and emotional closure," Schlossberg said. "It really is a travesty of justice."

…Schlossberg said granting divorce rights would not only end the "divorce trap" for same-sex couples, but allow people exiting those marriages to pursue such benefits as child custody, alimony and property rights.

Of the states where same-sex marriage is legal, only Vermont and Delaware allow couples to divorce without residency, and even then only if they married there in the first place.

New Jersey and New York require one of the spouses to be a resident for at least one year. Schlossberg said Colorado and Wyoming allow same-sex divorces even though marriages are not legal there.


  1. jamal49 says

    Why, yes, of course! That makes sense. If we have marriage equality, then certainly we must have divorce equality.

    I can’t wait for the alimony fights to begin.

  2. Randy says

    So, not content to keep gay couples unmarried, Pennsylvania will rush to help already-married gay couples break up.

    How … thoughtful.

  3. says

    This is a good thing. Marriage law is to a large extent about protecting spouses / children in divorce. When civil unions were originally passed in VT the two words that were sacred and could not be used by gay people were “marriage” and “divorce.” Civil unions had “dissolutions” rather than “divorces.”

    Vermont’s divorce law is pretty restrictive: you can get one as a non-resident only if you were married in VT, you have no children in the marriage, and you have no property disputes.