Now that Melissa Etheridge is ending her nine year relationship with partner Tammy Lynn Michaels, the two are in court fighting over custody, visitation, and support rights of their twin (birthed by Michaels) as well as a division of property and attorney’s fees. You see, the two got married in Malibu, California on September 20, 2003 but seeing as gay marriage wasn’t legal in California then 2003, Etheridge is now saying that their marriage was non-binding and that she doesn’t owe Michaels all the financial benefits that she would normally have if they were legally wed.
While Etheridge is legally and semantically within her right to call her marriage non-binding (and the state will almost certainly make their decision based on that), it’s pretty bullshitty of her to use semantics to help give her the edge in divorce court. She should fight for child custody rights based on the facts of her marriage, not be denying that said marriage ever existed.
By doing so she also runs the risk of re-confirming the anti-gay lie that LGBTs don’t actually want the rights and responsibilities of marriage but would rather just have the title and treat their partners however they like. She liked it. She put a ring on it. And now it’s time for Melissa Etheridge to own up to that and um… face the music.