Toronto Diary
1 min

Legalize gay divorce

When a country refuses to legalize marriage equality on a nationwide level in favour of a province-by-province (or state-by-state) basis, you’re eventually going to have some legal fuckery to deal with.

According to a new report from Business Insider, one of the biggest problems facing married gays and lesbians today happens to be, ironically enough, gay divorce. It turns out, the steps required for a married couple to get divorced are a little more complex than you would expect, and for LGBT couples trying to legally separate, this can prove to be a logistical nightmare that requires manoeuvring through a lot of yellow tape.

Thus, a couple living in Utah, where gay marriage is not recognized, can marry in Massachusetts, where it is legal and where newlyweds are not obliged to live in the state.

If the couple returns to Utah and their marriage falls apart, however, they would have to go to another state to petition for a divorce — which requires a period of residence of six months to two years, depending on the state.

There are also local particularities. In Wyoming, for instance, same-sex couples cannot marry but they can seek a divorce.

"It’s a mess,” Sommer told AFP.

Okay, so simplified divorce is probably one of the weirdest reasons for marriage equality ever, but it does show a major legal flaw in how we treat marriage equality. Yes, marriage is a religious sacrement, but it’s also a legal matter, and until we’re able to clean up the legal definition of marriage, the system is going to remain broken like this.


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