Thursday, October 1, 2009

Texas Judge Approves Request for Divorce of Gay Couple

An important decision was made by a Dallas judge today that may change the landscape of family law in the state of Texas. Two men who were married in a jurisdiction that recognizes gay marriage but live in Dallas now want a divorce. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott argued that since gay marriage is not permitted in Texas, the state cannot dissolve such a marriage. Judge Tena Callahan reached a different conclusion.

In 2005, voters in Texas overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage in the Lone Star State. Instead, both the Texas Constitution and the Texas Family Code define marriage as being only between one man and one woman. Judge Callahan, through today's ruling, stated that the state's ban on gay marriage violates a constitutional guarantee to equal protection under the law.

This ruling represents a huge shift in the way that gay marriage is viewed in the eyes of the law in our state. By issuing such an opinion, Judge Callahan has opened the door for other challenges to the definition and practice of marriage in Texas. Attorney General Greg Abbott has indicated that he intends to appeal the ruling "to defend the traditional definition of marriage."

At Bertolino LLP, we have experienced family law attorneys who are ready to work with you through all of the sensitive issues associated with marriage and divorce. And, we certainly will be following today's ruling to see what it may mean for future clients. If you are in the need of any legal assistance regarding your marriage, please contact our Austin, Houston, or San Antonio office today.

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