It’s all a little surreal.
A man seeking to end his same-sex marriage in Dallas County is arguing an ironic point in a state that doesn’t recognize his nuptials: Grant the divorce and there will be one less gay marriage in Texas.
“My client is a married man and he needs a divorce,” said the man’s attorney, Jody Scheske, who argued that granting the divorce promotes the state’s policy against gay marriage. “But for the actions of the attorney general, there would already be one less same-sex marriage in Texas.”
That argument came Wednesday before a three-judge panel in the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas that is hearing arguments after Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott appealed a state district judge’s ruling in October to grant the divorce. In her decision, Judge Tena Callahan also ruled that the state’s ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional.
But the attorney general’s office and the conservative Plano-based Liberty Institute argued that to recognize the divorce, Texas would have to recognize the marriage. They said that that by trying to divorce, the men – identified in court records as JB and HB – were trying to overturn Texas’ gay marriage ban.
See here and here for some background. Accepting the AG’s arguments is clearly the easy thing for the court to do, and I won’t be at all surprised if that’s what happens. The reason why the two men want a divorce is because they want a legally binding agreement for how they split up their assets, which seems like a simple enough thing to me. But nothing else will be if they get that. Which would be fine by me. I just don’t expect it to happen.