Same-sex Couple Denied Divorce in Maryland, Appeals to Highest Court

Read how a same-sex couple who got married in California, were denied a divorce in Maryland where they lived at the time, as the state does not recognize same-sex unions.

By Divorce Magazine
Updated: January 21, 2015
Same-sex Couple Denied Divorce

In 2010 a judge ruled that Jessica Port and Virginia Cowan, who were married in California, could not file for divorce. Port and Cowan were Maryland residents when they sought to dissolve their marriage. The state of Maryland, however, does not recognize same-sex unions and its constitution could not recognize the divorce. Lawyers call this predicament being wed-locked.

Port and Cowan took their case to Maryland’s highest court, and in May judges decided that same-sex couples could file for divorce, ruling it was unconstitutional to leave couples without a remedy for getting out of marriage.

Port: "We want equal rights to marry as well as equal rights to divorce, and rights to recognize and protect out relationships just like everyone else."

Currently, a same-sex couple can marry in six states, and the District of Columbia. The General Assembly in Maryland passed a bill in February that would legalize same-sex marriage, but which won't take effect until 2013. Opponents are pushing for a November referendum.

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By Divorce Magazine| June 21, 2012
Categories:  General

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