Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 8:31 pm

Ladies and gentlemen, Irony has entered the building. Again. Through the same door.

Filed under: Cool! — Lex @ 8:31 pm
Tags: , , ,

Given all the far-right lunacy that has emanated from Texas over the past 10-plus years, it’s just … well … interesting what kind of jurisprudence has developed there more recently.

First, the Supreme Court case that overturned bans on gay sex (as well as, in states such as North Carolina, orientation-neutral bans on sodomy) originated in Texas. Now, a Texas judge, has ruled that a gay couple married elsewhere can get divorced in Texas.

Which implies … well, actually, the judge came right out and said it:

In a first for Texas, a judge ruled Thursday that two men married in another state can divorce here and that the state’s ban on gay marriage violates the U.S. Constitution.

Both a voter-approved state constitutional amendment and the Texas Family Code prohibit same-sex marriages or civil unions.

Although the case is far from settled, and the state’s constitutional ban on gay marriage is a long way from being thrown out, Dallas state District Judge Tena Callahan’s ruling says the state prohibition of same-sex marriage violates the federal constitutional right to equal protection.

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had intervened in the two men’s divorce case, arguing that because a gay marriage isn’t recognized in Texas, a Texas court can’t dissolve one through divorce.

Callahan, a Democrat, denied the attorney general’s intervention and said her court “has jurisdiction to hear a suit for divorce filed by persons legally married in another jurisdiction.”

Obviously, the case will be appealed in Texas and almost certainly to the federal system, regardless of which side wins at the state appellate level. But it’s interesting, isn’t it, how utterly lacking is the legal justification for civil discrimination against gays that even in a state like Texas, a judge can see that the emperor has, ahem, no clothes?

(To repeat: I think government ought to be out of the marriage business, that religious groups should be able to marry or refuse to marry whomever they please, and that civil rights ought to be available to all competent adults equally irrespective of sexual orientation.)

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