Friday, August 3, 2007

Weighing in on Rhode Island Divorce Case

The Rhode Island Supreme Court will soon hear argument on whether a Family Court judge has jurisdiction to decide a divorce case for a same-sex couple – Rhode Island residents Cassandra Ormiston and Margaret Chambers – who legally married in Massachusetts.

While Rhode Island law is silent on the question of licensing marriages between same-sex couples, the Massachusetts courts ruled in 2006 that Rhode Island gay and lesbian couples could legally marry in Massachusetts, and in February, 2007, Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch issued a legal opinion saying that state law requires that those marriages be recognized in Rhode Island.

Married couples are able to divorce in Rhode Island. Ormiston and Chambers have a legal marriage, so there should be no reason for the Rhode Island Family Court to deny them a divorce.

You can read the amicus brief GLAD has submitted in this case, and read more on this story in the Providence Journal.

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