US: Texas judge refuses to let state intervene in same-sex divorce case

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A Texas judge has refused to let the state intervene in the case of a same-sex couple attempting to get divorced.

Due to a legal quirk following the repeal of DOMA, it is possible for couples to become ‘trapped’ in federally-recognised marriages if their home state will not recognise their marriage exists in order to divorce them.

Kristi Lesh and Allison Flood Lesh, who married legally in Washington in 2010, are fighting for the right to be able to divorce in Texas.

The office of Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott had attempted to argue that it had an interest in intervening in the couple’s case to argue against their right to divorce, as it was relative to defending the ban on same-sex marriage.

However, San Antonio Judge Barbara Nellermoe has blocked the intervention from the state, allowing the divorce hearing to go ahead

The couple have a 15-month-old daughter, and a custody hearing was also set for later this month.

State attorneys have said they plan to appeal the decision, according to Associated Press.

Texas’ same-sex marriage ban was declared unconstitutional by Judge Orlando Garcia in February, but his ruling was stayed, meaning the ban is still in effect until the appeals process is concluded.

A lawmaker in Pennsylvania is currently attempting to legalise same-sex divorce, despite not recognising same-sex marriage, to help couples who are trapped in marriages.