Gay marriage is only recognized in a handful of states, which can cause some interesting legal problems when those couples move to another state. To date, six US states have legalized gay marriage and two more states will recognize same-sex marriages entered into in another state. Washington DC recognizes gay marriages and is expected to allow them soon, while California only recognizes the few marriages that were allowed to take place in that state before same sex marriage was voted down last November.
When two men who were legally married in Massachusetts in 2006 moved to Texas and later decided to file for divorce, they ran into a legal issue that state seemed ill-prepared to deal with. The Texas Attorney General stated that the two could not divorce in Texas, since they were not considered to be married while residing there. The couple could not simply divorce in MA since they were no longer residents. The problem is that, until they can legally divorce, they are still considered married in eight other states and in Washington DC.
One Texas judge viewed this as a discriminatory hardship, and ruled that the state should recognize the marriage for the limited purpose of divorce. The ruling is not expected to stand.
The Defense of Marriage Act gives states the option of refusing to recognize same-sex marriages that were legally performed in other states. As long as this is the case, issues like these will become more commonplace.
If you are considering divorce, please contact our firm for expert, compassionate legal counsel.
You can find out more about this topic at Obama owes gays more support.