Main | Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Texas Atty General Denies Gay Divorce

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has intervened in the divorce proceedings of a lesbian couple married in Massachusetts, denying the couple to right to separate legally in his state.
Angelique Naylor, 39, and Sabina Daly, 41, married in 2004 in Massachusetts, where gay marriage is legal. They returned to their home in Austin and together adopted a son, who is now 4. They have been separated for more than a year. Last week, at the close of a two-day hearing before state District Judge Scott Jenkins on how they should divide their property and share custody of their son, the two reached an agreement that in part called for them to divorce.

According to Naylor's lawyer, Jennifer Cochran, Jenkins granted the divorce orally and ordered the parties to put their agreement in writing and return to court next month for his signature. Abbott's petition in intervention was filed Thursday after the agreement was reached in court. In it, Abbott notes that after Naylor filed for divorce in December, Daly argued that divorce was the wrong legal remedy for the couple and that the court should instead declare the marriage void.

"Petitioner (Naylor) is asking the court to recognize and enforce a marriage between two persons of the same sex which is contrary to the law and public policy of the state," wrote Luther, Daly's lawyer. Abbott's petition said that through legal voidance, "the parties can achieve a legal termination of their Massachusetts marriage, through an enforceable judgment."
Last year Abbott appealed the case of two gay men who were granted a divorce by a Texas court. That case is still pending.

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