BOSTON (Reuters) - Rhode Island's top court narrowly ruled on Friday that a same-sex couple married in Massachusetts -- the only U.S. state to allow gay marriage -- could not legally divorce in Rhode Island, saying that the state's family court did not have authority over same-sex marriages.
Massachusetts currently allows out-of-state same-sex couples from just two states -- Rhode Island and New Mexico -- to marry there, since those states' laws do not clearly prohibit gay marriage.
The 3-2 ruling came in the case of Margaret Chambers and Cassandra Ormiston, two women who married in Massachusetts in May 2004. They filed for divorce last year.
Stupid law of unintended consequences. Gay marriages (like their hetero cousins) inevitably end in gay divorces. And we don’t mean that cleverly like referring to a newly liberated person as a gay divorcee. This is a reversal from the decision by a lower court in August (see Dish from August 2nd). This is the second high-profile case in which a gay couple has been denied a divorce on grounds that their state does not recognize their divorce in the first place. A couple of gals have been denied a divorce in Oklahoma, too (see Dish from July 27th).
This whole thing is a little baffling. We would think that someone would just say, “Yeah, our records indicate that you were never married, so um, you’re not married. Get an arbiter to see who gets what.” We wonder if New Mexico and Massachusetts are going to stop doing weddings for out-of-towners because of these cases. Or are homosexuals just going to flock to those states to live? We have been noticing a lot more pink hats at Red Sox games. Maybe it’s already happening.