Court says gay couples can’t divorce in Texas
DALLAS — A Texas appeals court said Tuesday that gay couples legally married in other states cannot get a divorce in Texas, where same-sex marriage is banned.
The 5th Texas Court of Appeals ruled that a Dallas district court judge didn’t have the authority to hear a divorce case involving two Dallas men who married in Massachusetts in 2006.
The state had appealed after Judge Tena Callahan said she did have jurisdiction and dismissed its attempt to intervene.
Callahan also ruled that the state couldn’t limit marriage to a man and a woman, and the appeals court overturned that ruling as well, saying Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage was constitutional.
“A person does not and cannot seek a divorce without simultaneously asserting the existence and validity of a lawful marriage,” Justice Kerry P. Fitzgerald wrote on behalf of the appeals court. “Texas law, as embodied in our constitution and statutes, requires that a valid marriage must be a union of one man and one woman, and only when a union comprises one man and one woman can there be a divorce under Texas law.”