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Texas Judge Challenges Marriage Ban

Timothy Kincaid

October 2nd, 2009

From the Dallas News:

Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan ruled that two men married out of state could divorce in Texas. She also stated that the Texas marriage ban violates the US Constitution.

Although the case is far from settled, and the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage is a long way from being thrown out, Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan’s ruling says the state prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had intervened in the two men’s divorce case, arguing that because a gay marriage isn’t recognized in Texas, a Texas court can’t dissolve one through divorce.

Callahan, a Democrat, 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.”

The political establishment in Texas will whip itself into a froth making sure that Callahan is reversed and gay people can return to being second class citizens, just as the Texas voters like it.



Lindoro Almaviva
October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

They can reverse Callahan, but a good lawyer and someone with the time could take this to the District court of appeals and we’ll see what happens.

Lynn David
October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

She will likely be voted out in 2010 also.

October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Anything that annoys the bigots of Texas is fine with me! I hope they collectively bust a blood vessel. Good for Judge Callahan.

October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Umm yeah. I wouldn’t expect anything enlightened coming from Texas.

October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Good for Judge Callahan.

Believe it or not, there are those of us in Texas who are not a part of the “political establishment,” and who not only disagree with the “bigots,” but actively work toward LGBT rights.

Bigots are found everywhere. So are enlightened people. Seems like Judge Callahan is one of the latter. Thanks to her.

October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Seems to me that Judge Callahan is legislating from the bench!

Thank you Judge Callahan for standing up. Force members of the legislature in Texas and likely the US Supreme Court to come clean and either support civil rights or acknowledge that we have, by law and action, created American apartheid.

Big hug to the rest of the Texans fighting for our rights. Keep the pressure on, any movement anywhere helps us in California.

October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Dennis, hug returned :). We all need all the help we can get.

October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

The irony in the attorney general’s actions: the couple is being forced to stay married.

Perhaps he should intervene in other divorce cases and try to lower the divorce rate. That would be a more logical way to protect marriage.

Oh… yeah… sorry… logic isn’t usually part of the equation. Is it?

October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Irony is definitely a big part of the whole situation. The point you make, Keith, is one I’ve heard a number of people from the LGBT community in Texas making.

It’s the real people in real life situations who are caught in the middle of “defense of marriage” arguments and “one man, one woman” definitions. Attorney General Abbot’s actions are just another attempt to enforce “less than” status on some of people he’s suppose to be serving.

October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Could someone explain to me why these “divorce in another state” cases keep being brought up? Wouldn’t it just be easier to go back to the state where it is law?

Don’t get me wrong it’s great that these things are going to court to emphasize how ridiculous the non-portability of some marriages is..

But I’m wondering if this is purely an activist move, or if there’s some straightforward reason behind these suits.

Just curious, not critical.

October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Joyce I’ve got a big hug for both of you as well, We Progressive Texans have to stick together.

On the court case I’m not sure what I think will happen, I’m trying to stay positive.

Timothy Kincaid
October 2nd, 2009 | LINK


Many states have lower residency requirements for marriage than they do for divorce. This results in a couple easily marrying in Massachusetts on a visit but finding that to divorce they have to move there.

It’s a holdover from the days in which only a few states offered divorce.

October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Ah that makes a lot more sense then. Well the laws themselves don’t make any damn sense, but still..

Just shows how utterly myopic and counter intuitive marriage/divorce law in this country is as a whole..

October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Hey Piper, thanks. I keep hearing that Texas is turning purple. We can hope. And keep working at it.

And I’m just hoping something positive comes out of this current situation, too.

October 2nd, 2009 | LINK

Yeah, I’ve heard that, but it’s hard to believe it, living in ranching country up here. Right now it’s mostly grassroots work.

October 3rd, 2009 | LINK

Piper, I’m in a very rural part of central TX. Grassroots is definitely the way change is / will happen. Actions like those by Callahan can help with that. Among other things, it can offer a bit of encouragement to progressives / liberals who keep on doing the work.

October 4th, 2009 | LINK

And the Texas voters like Annise Parker so much that she has been Houston’s controller for 6 terms. And is now a contender for mayor.

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