Struggle for Same Sex Equality

Jorie Cohen, Staff Writer

   It has been a long battle for same  sex couples to finally get the right to marry. These couples are now fighting for a new right: Same sex divorce. In our country, it is well known that half of marriages will end in divorce. This fact is no different for same sex couples. The battle in our judicial system today is this: Should same sex marriages made legal in certain states include the right to a divorce in a state that does not recognize same sex marriages?

   This legal battle is happening in Maryland today. Jessica Port and Virginia Anne Cowan were married in California in 2008. They moved back to Maryland to live their happily married life together, but unfortunately, in 2010, they filed for divorce. Their divorce was denied by a Maryland judge since same sex marriages were not legal in that state.

   Although Maryland does not allow gay and lesbian marriages, they will recognize the marriage if it occurs in a state which legally accepts it. ABC news stated that divorces for same sex couples in the state of Maryland have been an inconsistent practice. Judges have granted about half a dozen divorces, but Port and Cowan are one of the couples who has been denied that.

   A same sex marriage occurring in California has the same rights as that of a straight couple in Maryland. Many activitsts now say that citizens of Maryland should be given the right to divorce since they legalized their marriage in another state. Nebraska, Pennsylvania, Texas and Rhode Island are battling the same divorce issues. Responding to these issues, California and the District of Columbia are allowing same sex divorces in their state if couples’ home states deny them this right.

   No matter what the state of Maryland decides for these ladies’ argument, a law passed this year will legalize same sex weddings and divorces in January of 2013. However, many opponents of this law are willing to overturn it.

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