PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A lesbian couple that married in Massachusetts cannot get divorced in their home state of Rhode Island, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.You almost get the feeling that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court did not do this "couple" a favor by giving them the option of marrying.
The court, in a 3-2 decision, said the state's family court lacks the authority to grant the divorce of a same-sex couple because Rhode Island lawmakers have not defined marriage as anything other than a union between a man and a woman.
"The role of the judicial branch is not to make policy, but simply to determine the legislative intent," the court wrote.
An attorney for one of the women involved complained they have been left in a "legal limbo," but opponents of same-sex marriage said the court correctly avoided taking a step toward recognizing such unions.
Cassandra Ormiston and Margaret Chambers wed in Massachusetts in 2004 and filed for divorce last year in Rhode Island, where they both live.
Massachusetts, the only state where gay marriage is legal, restricts the unions to residents of states where the marriage would be recognized, and a Massachusetts judge decided last year that Rhode Island is one of those states.
No law specifically bans same-sex marriages in Rhode Island, but the state has taken no action to recognize them. The justices said Rhode Island laws contain numerous references to marriage as between a woman and a man.
Nancy Palmisciano, Ormiston's lawyer, said couples married in other states and other countries are routinely granted divorces in Rhode Island, and the same freedom should apply to this couple.
Now Ormiston is stuck in a marriage she doesn't want to be in, Palmisciano said. The women's lawyers have said at least one would have to move to Massachusetts to get a divorce, but Palmisciano said Friday that was not a viable option for her client.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Should I Laugh Or Cry?
I can remember some very cynical person (doubtless who had been through a messy divorce) saying that homosexuals demanding the right to marry were making a terrible mistake--soon they could experience the suffering that heterosexuals go through! And it appears to be true, based on this December 7, 2007 Associated Press story: