While the New York State Senate was unable (unwilling?) to pass a same-sex marriage law, this week it passed a bill OK-ing no-fault divorce, which lets heterosexual couples dissolve their legal unions without drawn out legal battles, or come up with excuses for more instantaneous divorces, like adultery or psychological cruelty. New York is the last state in America to adopt the practice. “What the fault divorce system has done is that it has institutionalized perjury,” says a Manhattan divorce attorney, who argues that without no-fault divorce, straight couples often lie in New York’s divorce courts just to swiftly end their marriage. (There are also divorce attorneys, like Liza Minnelli’s, who think no-fault divorce is a terrible idea.) And while a little big of anger tends to reach the upper extremities of my torso in learning that New York’s Democratic state senators — in a 32-29 vote — have no problem making traditional marriages (the institution so worth protecting!) easier to end while still denying gay couples the right to even try it out, there is an upside.
Passage of the legislation is a lawmaker-approved designation that marriage really is just a contract between two consenting adults. The next logic step: No court has ruled sexual orientation precludes a competent adult from entering into, or dissolving a contract with another person. So if marriages can be ended “just ’cause,” without either party admitting fault, then they really are just a piece of paper, aren’t they?
At least Sen. Ruben Diaz, the Democrat who campaigned against same-sex marriage, stuck to his guns and voted against legalizing no-fault divorce — but voted for some of its parts. Would hate to have the call the guy, who has two gay brothers, a hypocrite.