You Thought Gay Marriage Was Legally Complicated? Try Gay Divorce
Well, the conservatives were right, it is a slippery slope. First gay couples wanted the right to marry, and look, now they think they should be able to get divorced, too! Geez, what’s next?
In 2008, two women living in DC, Jessica Port and Virginia Anne Cowan, flew to San Francisco to marry. A year and a half ago they filed for divorce in Maryland; their request was denied by a Prince George’s County judge. Other same-sex spouses have attempted divorces in Maryland, to mixed results. Some of them get approved, while others get denied, with little rhyme or reason.
It must feel strange to reside in Maryland in a same-sex marriage; the union is recognized by Maryland’s state agencies, but not Maryland as a whole, and is not recognized federally. If you can’t get a divorce it’s even stranger, as you remain legally half-tethered to your would-be ex.
Perhaps the whole thing is a little more complicated than it needs to be. According to an article in The Sun, Maryland currently recognizes even incestuous marriages from another state, though it’s considered criminal here. And yet, when it comes to gay marriages — which could become the law of the land in Maryland in January — it seems our judges can’t help but get lost in the legal fog.
Port and Cowan’s divorce is headed to the Maryland Court of Appeals for a definitive decision that is likely to set the standard for all Maryland judges.