Homosexuals in Texas cannot marry, but for a nearly a year they had high hopes they could get divorced. Until today, when a federal appeals court in Dallas overturned October’s ruling that said Jeffrey and Henry Buck’s marriage of two years could be ended in a Texas court under the 14th Amendment.
The couple married in Massachusetts in 2006 before returning to Dallas, where Jeffrey filed for divorce — in a state that doesn’t recognize his marriage. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott has been all over this one, trying to keep a gay divorce case out of Texas courts, and it’s finally paid off.
[T]oday, the Fifth District Court of Appeals in Dallas reversed that decision and ordered Callahan to dismiss the case. Same-sex marriages or civil unions are prohibited by a voter-approved amendment to the state Constitution and the Texas Family Code. The appeals court said today that the trial court had wrongly ruled that those provisions violate the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment. Additionally, Justice Kerry P. Fitzgerald wrote in the decision: “We hold that Texas district courts do not have subject-matter jurisdiction to hear a same-sex divorce case.”
And unless the Bucks appeal, so ends their attempt to establish same-sex divorce precedent in a state where they absolutely didn’t want to become gay rights advocates. In fact, Jeffrey’s attorney Jody Scheske argued all along that Texas should grant the divorce because it would be one fewer same-sex marriage in the state.
So the Bucks remain married, just not in the eyes of Texas.