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Judge: Gay Divorce OK in Texas

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Though the state of Texas does not recognize same-sex marriages performed within its borders or in other states, a Dallas-area judge has approved a divorce between two men married in Massachusetts in 2006.

Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan ruled on October 1 that the state’s bans on same-sex marriage violates the constitutional guarantee to equal protection under the law.
“This is huge news. We’re ecstatic,” attorney Peter Schulte, who represents one of the men who filed the divorce, told the Dallas Morning News. The couple chose to remain anonymous during litigation.

Schulte said the ruling was a surprise and that he hoped to have a divorce order for the judge to sign in the “next few weeks.”

In a prepared statement, Attorney General Greg Abbott said he would appeal the ruling “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 percent of Texas voters.”

Judge Callahan denied the attorney general’s intervention, saying her court “has jurisdiction to hear a suit for divorce filed by persons legally married in another jurisdiction.” – by Nancy Ford

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