Why There's Going To Be A Boom In Gay Divorces In Utah

Melissa EtheridgeReuters/Fred ProuserSinger Melissa Etheridge (L) and former wife actress Tammy Lynn Michaels arrive at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) Pop Music Awards in Hollywood California April 18, 2007.

Now that the unlikely state of Utah has legalized same-sex marriage, Deseret News reports that gays in the state can finally dissolve their unhappy marriages.

It turns out gay couples who previously married outside of Utah and moved to the state couldn’t get divorces there because of the state’s ban on same-sex marriage. As the Deseret News put it, “No legal marriage meant no divorce.”

Other states like Texas and Ohio have also tried to keep married gay couples from splitting. A gay couple in one of those states who got married in, say, Connecticut couldn’t just go back there for a weekend to get divorced. Connecticut, like other states, requires people to live in the state to get divorced there.

That lack of legal recognition put unhappy gay couples who wanted to divorce in a bind they can finally get out of now that a Utah judge has found the gay marriage ban to be unconstitutional.

“I had to remain in this relationship that I didn’t want to, and no one should have to endure that,” a woman named Astrid Marquez told the Deseret News. She added, “It was really frustrating. It was also very hard because I couldn’t really move on. How do you say, ‘I’m married, but not really?”

Family law attorney Wade Taylor is already working on two same-sex divorce filings and told the Deseret News there would eventually be a “boom” in gay divorces in Utah. In addition to the gays who couldn’t get divorced before the judge’s ruling, some of the gays who can finally get married in their home state of Utah may eventually split up, too.

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