Gay couples who married in Massachusetts but live in other states are having trouble getting divorced. It seems, early on, Massachusetts allowed out-of-state couples to get married there but currently does not allow gay divorces unless the couple establishes a year of residency in the state. Since other states do not permit gay marriages, they donâ€™t offer divorces either.
Interestingly, while the concept of marriage is intertwined in religious traditions, the concept of divorce is a much more secular construct. Iâ€™m sure some states would completely reject the notion of allowing gay divorces on the principle that granting divorces is too close to recognizing gay marriage. However, if two consenting adults want to separate their belongings and obligations, who cares what gender they are? There is arguably a greater public interest in the state allowing for legal gay separation than legal gay union. A couple who cannot legally separate will either burden the legal system or resort to less legal solutions â€“ both of which are less desirable than simply letting them go their separate ways.
Conceivably, we could be closer to widespread legalized gay divorce than we are to widespread legalized gay marriage. Iâ€™d prefer to keep the discussion on the legalization of gay marriage but I guess those of us who support such changes must also accept the necessary evil of gay divorce.
And yes, I do support gay marriage. You may now revoke my rightwing echo chamber credentials.
This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 15th, 2008 and is filed under Law, Massachusetts, Sexuality. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.