Waldlaw Blog

Friday, July 21, 2006

If You Liked Gay Marriage, You'll Love Gay Divorce

Hot off the Massachusetts presses, the Goodridge gals -- plaintiffs in the case by which lesbian and gay couples in Massachusetts won the right to marry -- have separated, and are considering divorce. More proof that lesbian and gay couples are just like everyone else.... Actually, in all seriousness, the ability to access the legal system to resolve our issues around custody, child support, spousal support, property divisions, etc. upon dissolution of our relationships is one of the most beneficial aspects of same-sex marriage. Without gay marriages, we have all-too-often been left to flounder through our break-up's, with people's worst instincts being able to run roughshod over any efforts at an equitable -- or even thoughtful -- process. I hope that as the gay community starts to "do" formal divorce, we learn lessons from our heterosexual friends and family members who have already been through the process. We have no history or precedents for how our community is going to handle legal divorces. We have a chance to set our own precedents, establish our own procedures that embrace community values and take heed of some of the mayhem that has resulted from more "traditional" divorces. If social conservatives fear the impact of gay marriage on the marriage institution itself, I have high hopes for the the impact of gay divorce on the divorce institution itself. Pipe dreams?? Maybe so, but I'm on vacation on Cape Cod so I'm entitled to an optimistic moment.


  • The law of marriage disolution is absurdly complicated, cubersome and expensive. It requires gaing inordinantly expensive access to the justice system for what in about 75% of the cases, should be a matter of the simple filling out of forms. One of my hopes was that gay marriage would cause state legislatures to take a look at their family codes to streamline and cheapen this process for all concerned. That was in a day when I thought states would do the decent thing and would allow gay marriage and not treat it like the downfall of civilization.

    By Blogger wade, at 11:52 AM  

  • "...unlike Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King Jr., Hilary and Julie seemingly lacked the desire to be high-profile public advocates. All they wanted to do was to be left alone.

    I've always had the sense that the vast majority of gays and lesbians in Massachusetts and elsewhere simply want to be left alone--to live their lives anonymously and in peace, and not to receive either punishment or preference because of their sexuality. However, possibly as a result of this attitude, American homosexuals have failed to produce a credible leader who can successfully advocate on their behalf. The reason why so many states have moved to ban gay marriage is because the most compelling moral arguments concerning gay marriage are made by opponents of the concept. There is literally no 'main-event' figure out there today that can make the public moral case for same-sex marriage..."


    By Blogger D. R. Tucker, at 6:06 AM  

  • d.r. tucker bemoans there being no "main-event" figure who can make the public moral case for same-sex marriage. This is not true. Evan Wolfson, Andrew Sullivan, and William Eskridge -- to name just three -- have been making this case from various points along the political spectrum for quite some time now.

    By Blogger Citron, at 2:49 PM  

  • I just recently learned about mediation by reading Ora Schwartzberg's latest book titled, "Divorce Mediation from the Inside Out." May be useful information for anyone needing to go through a low stress, less expensive divorce.

    By Blogger Becky, at 12:27 AM  

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