Here’s a typical case that has come up in Texas, Wyoming, everywhere. A couple that in happy times together, in the blush of love and the excitement of the availability of marriage in some jurisdictions that have no residency requirements, get married, may even throw some big party with family and friends, then return to lead their boring lives as married couples. And then, no different from what happens in heterosexual marriages, a certain percentage may split apart. But, by and large, even if states have no residency requirement to marry, they do have a residency requirement to divorce…It gives wedlock a whole new meaning. They’re trapped.

“…[L]et’s say you and your spouse live in Virginia but got married in New York. You split up but don’t get divorced, because you can’t. One of you steps foot in D.C. because you commute there for work. While you’re in D.C. you are married to that other person even if you haven’t spoken in years. And let’s say you’re in an accident that doesn’t allow you to make end-of-life decisions; that spouse is likely the one who has the right to make decisions for you….It’s a mess!”

While the fight for gay marriage continues, Lambda Legal director of constitutional litigation Susan Sommer discusses the fight for gay divorce in New York Magazine‘s cover story, “From ‘I Do’ to I’m Done.

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