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If you make it in Massachusetts, you better end it there

The Rhode Island Supreme Court is dealing with a rather delicate matter right now. It's been asked to rule on a divorce case, but instead has sent it back to the lower court. They're trying to decide if they even have jurisdiction in the case, let alone the merits of it.

Back in 2003, Margaret and Cassandra wanted to be wed, but Rhode Island didn't have any way for two women to tie the knot. So they skipped across the border to Massachusetts, formalized their union, and trotted back home.

But not was all blissful. Last year, the two decided that it just wasn't working any more. And in an ironic twist, these two lesbians found that they really needed a man -- more precisely, Alexander The Great, to undo the legal Gordian knot they had twisted the legal system into.

Rhode Island law is silent on the subject of gay marriage. It neither allows nor forbids it. It's an absolute void. So there is no law, no precedent, no case history to guide judges in dissolving their union.

There is a simple solution, of course: simply treat it as any other divorce case, just go through and remove the gender-specific references.

The problem with that is that would result in a de facto recognition of same-sex marriages, and open the floodgates to other same-sex couples to seek union in Rhode Island. That would lead to much the same situation in Massachusetts -- a large portion of the populace quite upset that such a major change in the legal and social landscape had been made with no public input.

The subject of gay marriage touches upon a huge portion of society, not just the tiny minority that would directly benefit from it. I want it to come about (for no other reasons than that I think that marriage as an institution would be strengthened by increasing the pool of potential marriages, and it would serve as a social reinforcement of long-term, stable relationships in general), but I want it to come about in a way that will survive the opposition of its detractors. That means getting enough people to support it and recognize it and accept it, so any resultant challenges -- be they at the ballot box, in the legislative halls, or in the courts -- will be defeated.

In the meantime, the simplest solution for Margaret and Cassandra would be to seek divorce in the same jurisdiction that they wed. If that means moving into Massachusetts long enough to establish residency, then so be it. They should have thought about that when they chose to be married outside of their home state.


Comments (23)

Rhode Island should give th... (Below threshold)
Mr. Serious:

Rhode Island should give them a divorce lickity-split.

Unintended consequences - <... (Below threshold)
pgg:

Unintended consequences -

not just a good idea, it's the LAW!

I strongly suspect that the... (Below threshold)
hermie:

I strongly suspect that the people who were pushing 'gay marriage' the most were lawyers...divorce lawyers. Just so they could tap a new source for 'billable hours'.

Hermie, I agree... (Below threshold)
Mr. Serious:

Hermie,

I agree, something smells fishy here.

OK, Mr. Serious, that's two... (Below threshold)

OK, Mr. Serious, that's two really, really bad puns. Please don't go for the trifecta.

J.

My bad, couldn't help mysel... (Below threshold)
Mr. Serious:

My bad, couldn't help myself.

That last one wasn't very f... (Below threshold)
Tim:

That last one wasn't very funny at all.

What a non-story. <p... (Below threshold)
maggysturn:

What a non-story.

Could it be that Jay Tea is avoiding the real news event of the day? The Bush Administration has reversed itself on the NSA spying program. Can you say:

flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop, flip flop?

You right wingers are such losers. LOL.

"not just the tiny mino... (Below threshold)
P. Bunyan:

"not just the tiny minority that would directly benefit from it"

That tiny minority is called divorce lawyers...

Actually, maggy, I'm too bu... (Below threshold)

Actually, maggy, I'm too busy keeping track of all your identities. How many are you up to? I lost track at a dozen.

Why do you have to keep changing your name? Are you afraid of looking like the lone loon you are, so you keep using new names to post the same old tripe?

J.

I grew up in Massachusetts ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

I grew up in Massachusetts (Tyngsboro, 5 minutes from Nashua)...and with what, 2 posts per week about how horrible a place it is, I'm starting to feel a little defensive :P

Let's admit it. Between th... (Below threshold)
Judith:

Let's admit it. Between the loose divorce laws and the farce of "homosexual marriage", let us do away with marriage altogether. It no longer has any meaning whatsoever (go ahead, define marriage). Draw up a legal document (one the homosexual community has been able to do forever) and call the "union" something else, not marriage. I mean this for heterosexuals and homosexuals. Our "culture" has nothing invested in marriages, families, etc. I, for one, can no longer define what marriage is or what it is good for...certainly not for "the children".

Marriage as an institution ... (Below threshold)
Patti:

Marriage as an institution would benefit by recognizing gay marriage the same way a high school prom would benefit by allowing the students to come dressed as clowns.

Why exactly would gay marri... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Why exactly would gay marriage be negative for the marital institution? Are all the new gay couples going to live in your house or something?

One should try and not dictate to others what they can and can't do based on their own personal principles.

Have to agree with Judith. ... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Have to agree with Judith.

The state needs to stop recognizing/condoning marriage. Tax laws can be amended to do away with so-called marriage benefits. Inheritance can be dealt with through leving behind a legal will and testament. Property issues can be dealt with via contract law, power of attorney etc.

Any real marrge is between ... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

Any real marrge is between one man one woman and no more of this gay and lesbian marrages

And you are to decid... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

And you are to decide this spurwing? The gay and lesbian community is not bound to abide by your opinion.


Heralder,Who are y... (Below threshold)
rober the original:

Heralder,

Who are you to tell me I can't marry my horse?

How would you know anything about the special relationship between man and his horse throughout history? I'm talking now about the cavalry soldier, the cowboy on the trail, the Indian and his painted beauty, and the three wise men.

You cannot know Heralder, the feeling that can develop between you and your horse, alone on the trail and under a September moon. I defy you to tell me that this love is not every bit as strong as that between you and your mate.

And it is past time that this special relationship be recognized in the formal way that only marriage can do. It is only you reactionary traditionalists who block my way. And do you know that when I'm gone my horse will be sold into slavery and cannot inherit from me?

The thought of his barn sold to the highest bidder, his favorite stall rudely smacked down to make way for the latest condo development, haunts me. And why, all because he doesn't have a finger for a ring?

I can only hope that over a generation or so, society will have progressed, churches will have been modified to accept the four legged, and your daughter too may be permitted to marry her horse, provided she is over 12 and otherwise sober.

Awww horse poo tooty, lets ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Awww horse poo tooty, lets just all go back to being savages and that way only the strong survive.
Her'-or we by yours-so we are back where we started.

Rober, that was brilliant. ... (Below threshold)
Heralder:

Rober, that was brilliant.

Slightly a different animal (pun intended) as an argument, but definitely a fun read!

I don't see why the Rhode I... (Below threshold)
Eric:

I don't see why the Rhode Island judiciary feels the need to address the issue. If Rhode Island law doesn't recognize gay marriage, then the courts don't have any reason to start making law. The whole thing should go back to MA.

Heralder,All in go... (Below threshold)
robert the original:

Heralder,

All in good fun, of course.

I want you to know that I feel just as strongly attached to my '68 Z28.

But I warn you in advance that you cannot have a valid opinion on man-car marriage unless you are currently dating a chevy.

jhow66 would have to get ma... (Below threshold)
slingshot:

jhow66 would have to get married to his penis pump. is it big yet, buddy?




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