Thursday, October 1, 2009

District Judge Strikes Down Texas Ban on Marriage Equality

With the right to marry also comes the right to divorce.

Today, Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan granted a divorce to two legally married gay men, declaring that the state's bans on same-sex marriage violates the constitutional guarantee to equal protection under the law.

Texas has a voter approved same-sex marriage ban from 2005 and also has a Family Code barring such recognition.

The Dallas Morning News reports:
[Judge Callahan] denied the attorney general’s intervention and said her court "has jurisdiction to hear a suit for divorce filed by persons legally married in another jurisdiction."

"This is huge news. We’re ecstatic," said Dallas attorney Peter Schulte, who represents the man who filed the divorce. The man, identified in court documents as J.B., asked that he and his former partner not be identified.
Attorney General Greg Abbott vowed to appeal and “to defend the traditional definition of marriage that was approved by Texas voters.

“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 per cent of Texas voters.”

More to come as story develops.

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