Texas AG Tries to Intervene—1 Day Too Late?—in Same-Sex Divorce Case
Posted Feb 17, 2010 6:28 PM CST
By Martha Neil
The attorney general of Texas is seeking to intervene in a divorce case involving a same-sex couple, arguing that the two women can't be legally divorced in the state because it doesn't recognize their Massachusetts marriage as valid.
However, Attorney General Greg Abbott made his move a day too late, sending aides to contest the divorce after a decree had been granted in open court by a Travis County state district judge, contends attorney Bob Luther of Austin. He represents Sabina Daly, 41, of San Antonio. Her perhaps-divorced spouse is Angelique Naylor, 39, of Austin, reports the Houston Chronicle.
It appears that Abbott may be arguing the divorce isn't yet final because no written decree has been entered. He contends that the marriage should be legally voided because it was never valid in the first place.
Abbott explained his position Tuesday, reports the San Antonio Express-News: “A divorce is an ending or a termination of a valid legal marriage," he said. "In this instance, there was no valid legal marriage recognized by the state of Texas. Texas can't have a faulty precedent on the books that validates an illegal law.”
In addition to having a 4-year-old adopted son, the two women run a business together that now needs to be apportioned by the court.
“It wasn't about politics. It wasn't about gay rights. It was about two people who had serious legal issues that needed to be resolved," Naylor tells the Chronicle. "A lot was accomplished in spite of the attorney general's private political agenda. We came to peace.”
Updated at 6:43 p.m. to include information from Express-News.