You know that ubiquitous question: How will same-sex marriage affect your marriage?
Well, some gender-segregated couples are discovering they are stuck in an unwanted marriage.
Why is divorce elusive for gender-exclusive couples?
Same-sex couples can currently marry in six states and the District of Columbia, and there's no residency requirement to marry. That means that couples who live outside of those states can just pop in for a day to get married and then go home. There are also five states that allow civil unions. But if a marriage should fall apart in a state that doesn't recognize the couple's legal status in the first place, that's when things get complicated.
Some states that do not allow same-sex marriages to be performed also do not grant divorces for same-sex marriages that occurred outside of the state's borders. It's a tricky situation when a couple wants to dissolve their same-sex marriage, and neither spouse is a resident of a state that recognizes their marriage as legal and valid.
To satisfy the residency requirements, under these circumstances, you'd have to live in a state for six months to two years -- depending on local laws -- in order to get a divorce from a same-sex partner, said Susan Sommer, director of constitutional litigation at Lambda Legal, which represented Cowan.
This is one more reason to support standard marriage laws throughout the land. For example, the Defense of Marriage Act.
Gender matters, especially in marriage.