WAMU 88.5 : News

Before Same-Sex Marriage, Calls For Same-Sex Divorce In Maryland

Play associated audio
A wedding cake topper shows a lesbian couple in a happier time, but what happens when they want to split up?
A wedding cake topper shows a lesbian couple in a happier time, but what happens when they want to split up?

The Maryland Court of Appeals is considering a case in which a gay couple no longer in love was denied a divorce after they were legally married in other jurisdiction.

While the same-sex marriage bill passed in Maryland, the law still has yet to go into effect. Gay couples will have to wait until 2013 to wed, which also means gay couples wishing to divorce must also wait.

When Jessica Port and Virginia Anne Cowan decided to go to California and get married four years ago, at a time when same-sex marriage was legal there, they thought it was a holy matrimony that no one could deny.

That was, until they decided to get divorced, says Port.

"The judge said because of the unnatural circumstances of our marriage, we would have a ruling by mail," she says. "And all of the other couples who had come in that day asking for a divorce got a ruling on the spot so we knew that it would be an issue."

Now two years later, the issue still has not been resolved. Since Maryland does not yet recognize same-sex marriage, lower courts would not recognize the divorce. The new same-sex marriage law in Maryland does not expressly address divorce.

The 30-year old says it's too expensive to fly back to California and get a divorce there. Today, she's petitioning Maryland's highest court.

Port's attorneys argue that whether gay marriage in the state is legal or not, Maryland courts should recognize unions legalized in other states.

Gov. Martin O'Malley signed the bill legalizing gay marriage last month, but it doesn't take effect until 2013. Opponents of same-sex unions are seeking a referendum on the statute in the November election.



From Solitary To Stardom On The Court: What It Means To Be 'Tuff'

Before his success in the NBA, Caron Butler overcame a rocky youth in the inner city. Drugs and violence nearly derailed him — but, as he writes in a new memoir, he managed a dramatic turnaround.
WAMU 88.5

Invasive Insect Could Wreak Havoc On U.S. Tomato Crop

A virginia tech plant pathologist says it's time to implement quarantine measures on tomatoes being imported from other countries where the South American Tomato Leafminer has already taken hold.

Chaffetz Leaps Into Race To Succeed Boehner As Speaker

Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, announced he will run for speaker of the House, challenging GOP majority leader Kevin McCarthy to become the successor to outgoing Speaker John Boehner.

#MemeOfTheWeek: That Article From The Onion About Mass Shootings

The article reveals what the writers really feel about mass shootings in America, something mainstream media couldn't do.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.