Same-Sex Divorce Confuses Even Lawyers
Howard Bashman points to a pair of articles from the San Francisco Chronicle today on the new legal issues faced by divorcing gay couples. In The Battle Over Same-Sex Marriage, staff writer Wyatt Buchanan says that same-sex couple who break up are finding themselves in a legal morass that confuses even their lawyers.
State divorce laws conflict with federal tax laws; differences among states' laws can jeopardize child-custody agreements if one or both partners move; and some attorneys are shying away from same-sex divorces for fear of their own liability.
In a companion piece, Same-Sex Marriage Foes Say Divorces Prove Their Point, Wyatt reports that two high-profile break-ups -- Julie and Hillary Goodridge, the named plaintiffs in the Massachusetts case that legalized same-sex marriage, and Carolyn Conrad and Kathleen Peterson, the couple in the nation's first same-sex civil union -- are providing fodder for opponents of gay marriage.
"The separation of Julie and Hillary Goodridge is tragic not only for their daughter," the Rev. Lou Sheldon of the Traditional Values Coalition said in a statement released the day after the couple confirmed the separation. "But ... they have clearly shown just how little they value the institution of marriage and provide a chilling look into what our nation faces if homosexual marriage is legalized elsewhere."
One case may work its way to the Supreme Court, the article suggests. It involves a lesbian couple who entered into a Vermont civil union, had a child and then broke up. The biological mother moved to Virginia, where a court a court ruled the nonbiological mother had no custody rights. But a Vermont court has ruled she does.
Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on September 25, 2006 at 03:33 PM | Permalink
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