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Texas Judge Rejects State's Motion to Intervene in Gay Divorce Case

Texas State District Judge Barbara Nellermoe has rejected a motion from Attorney General Greg Abbott to intervene in a divorce and child custody case involving a gay couple. Nellermoe became the third Texas judge to declare the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional when she ruled in late April.

NellermoeThe AP reports:

The Texas Attorney General's office argued Wednesday before State District Judge Barbara Nellermoe that it has an interest in defending Texas' ban on same-sex marriages.
Nellermoe refused to allow the state to intervene in the case. She previously ruled Texas restrictions on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional.
The San Antonio Express-News reports state attorneys have said they'll appeal the decision.

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  1. Yes, Greg Abbott has an interest - his campaign

    Posted by: Homo Genius | May 15, 2014 11:49:29 AM

  2. Put a stick in his spokes.

    Posted by: Rollin' On the River | May 15, 2014 12:29:07 PM

  3. "We don't consider gay marriages to be valid, so we refuse to let you end one!"

    Posted by: Lymis | May 15, 2014 12:34:41 PM

  4. Gay and allied voices are now being heard in Texas. If you have a chance, be support of the state and its progressive denizens - there is a great battle for hearts and minds being waged there, and they need your help.

    Posted by: Sergio | May 15, 2014 12:50:45 PM

  5. I hate to say it, but I do see the logic in Abbott's argument. If the state doesn't recognize a marriage - and, in this case, it doesn't - how can the state grant a divorce? Texas is not compelled to recognize an out-of-state same-sex marriage, as per the part of DOMA that wasn't struck down in the Windsor decision, so this marriage literally does not exist in Texas. How then can Texas do anything at all with regard to something that does not exist?

    Posted by: Jere | May 15, 2014 1:36:43 PM

  6. @Jere: Abbott's position is like closing your eyes, putting your fingers in your ears, and singing la-la, la-la-la-la. Ignoring a marital realtionship that clearly exists (or existed) does not mean it was never there.

    Abbott's position of leaving these couples in limbo isn't even consistent. If Texas wants to limit marriage to men and women, then logically the authority of the state should be used to terminate legal relationships that exist, but do not meet that definition.

    Either way, Abbott is about to run out of sidewalk soon.

    Posted by: Lala | May 15, 2014 2:16:38 PM

  7. LALA, I see what you're saying, but, as far as Texas goes, the legal marital relationship was, in fact, never there. Abbott's not ignoring something that exists, because, in Texas, this marriage doesn't exist.

    If we're saying that marriage is what each state defines it to be (and, for the moment, we still are saying that), then this marriage ceased to exist the moment the couple set foot in Texas.

    As far as limiting marriage to a man and a woman, that extends to marriages performed in Texas and doesn't apply here. The couple can call themselves married or call themselves the Duke and Duchess of Windsor and it's all the same to Texas. The state won't recognize either claim.

    Posted by: Jere | May 15, 2014 2:35:21 PM

  8. I agree with Jere. That is why the Full Faith and Credit Clause is what is being fought over now that Windsor has agreed that holding back federal benefits from "qualified" married gay people from states where it is legal is unconstitutional.

    The next stage being fought over now is if the other states have to accept it.

    Texas doesn't recognize the marriage, so it doesn't recognize it as something that can be dissolved. On the other hand, the argument that if the intent of Texas is to prevent gay people from being married, then in that case they would grant the divorce. Those are 2 very different arguments with their mostly unrelated legal issues.

    Posted by: steve talbert | May 15, 2014 3:20:27 PM

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