Posted by Audiegrl
Associated Press/Matt Curry—A Texas judge cleared the way for two Dallas men to get a divorce, ruling Thursday that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage violates the constitutional guarantee to equal protection under the law.
Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said he’d appeal the ruling, which he labeled an attempt to strike down the ban approved by voters in 2005.
“The laws and constitution of the State of Texas define marriage as an institution involving one man and one woman,” Abbott said in a written statement. “Today’s ruling purports to strike down that constitutional definition — despite the fact that it was recently adopted by 75 percent of Texas voters.”
Abbott has argued that because the state doesn’t recognize gay marriage, its courts can’t dissolve one through divorce.
District Judge Tena Callahan’s ruled Thursday, however, that the court “has jurisdiction to hear a suit for divorce filed by persons legally married in another jurisdiction.”
Jennifer Pizer, marriage project director for the New York-based gay rights group Lambda Legal, said it is too early to predict the ultimate implications of the lawsuit, in which neither man is identified.
But Cathy Adams, president of the conservative Texas Eagle Forum, characterized the decision as a judicial overreach.
“Judicial activism is what they’re after, and it sounds as if they found someone in Dallas to participate in their endeavor,” she said. “The people of Texas have spoken very strongly in opposition to same-sex marriage.”
Peter Schulte, an attorney for the man who filed for divorce, told The Dallas Morning News that he and his client are “ecstatic” over the court’s ruling. Schulte said the decision was a surprise, and that he hoped to have the judge sign a divorce order in a few weeks.