Gay Divorce in Kentucky?

By Richard Nelson

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November 5, 2013

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A peculiar case in Kentucky has gained the attention of marriage advocates and marriage revisionists.

According to the Courier-Journal, a couple in Kentucky is seeking the state’s very first “gay divorce.”

This is peculiar not only for a divorce between same-sex persons, but that in Kentucky, the commonwealth’s constitution does not recognize same-sex marriage. How, then, can Kentucky’s court system permit a divorce to a relationship it does not recognize?

According to the Courier-Journal,

The case of Romero vs. Romero would seem to be a routine divorce. The couple have no children and already have divided their assets.

But both Alysha Romero and her spouse, Rebecca Sue Romero, are women — and so, in Kentucky, their divorce is anything but routine.

Family Court judges and divorce lawyers say Alysha’s petition — filed Oct. 25 in Jefferson Family Court — is the state’s first involving a same-sex couple who were married in another state where same-sex marriages are legal, and want to end their marriage in Kentucky.

Alysha’s lawyer, Louis Waterman, said they should have the right to divorce here, rather than endure the disruption and expense of going back to Massachusetts, where they were wed, and living there for one year to meet that state’s residency requirement.

[…]

But both opponents and supporters of gay marriage — including Waterman — say the court will have no choice but to dismiss the petition because Kentucky’s marriage amendment bans not only gay marriage, but the recognition of such marriages performed elsewhere as well.

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Director, Commonwealth Policy Center