Maryland’s Highest Court Hears Lesbian Divorce Case

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (WJZ)—The struggle by same-sex couples to tie the knot is proving just as difficult to untie for one lesbian couple.

Alex DeMetrick reports their quest to divorce reached Maryland’s high court Thursday.

Maryland may have a same-sex marriage law on the books. But it doesn’t take effect until 2013, and a Maryland lower court ruled Jessica Port and her partner cannot divorce if they weren’t married here.

“I live in Maryland. I pay taxes in Maryland. I work in Maryland. I have every right to get a divorce in a timely manner like any other couple,” Port said.

Port and her partner Virginia Cowan married in California while it was legal.

Cowan too wants a divorce.

“Our client is very much committed to ending a marriage and having the ability to move on,” said Susan Sommer, Cowan’s lawyer.

That plea was made to Maryland’s Court of Appeals. The argument: people married in other states get divorced all the time in Maryland. So why not Port and Cowan?

“It would lock these parties into a marriage that is irretrievably broken.  The court would for the first time be saying you can enter into a marriage, but you can’t exit it,” said Shannon Minter, Port’s lawyer.

That leaves Maryland’s highest court to decide if same-sex marriages and licenses from other states can be legally dissolved here.

The Court of Appeals gave no indication of when they might rule on the same-sex divorce case.

More from Alex DeMetrick
  • JC

    If the court of appeals asked my opinion (not likely), I would say that same sex couples should be able to divorce under the laws of Maryland so long as they meet the requirements that would be imposed on any other married couple seeking divorce here.

    States recognize legal marriages from other states, even if the parties could not be married under their existing laws, and I’m sure many of those marriages have been dissolved in this State without questioning the legality of doing so.

    Couples have long crossed state lines to marry where parental consent was not required due to the age of one of the parties. Additionally, couples have gone out of state to marry closer relatives than than Maryland allows (Pennsylvania allows 1st cousin marriages while Maryland does not [or at least did not used to]).

  • Beth

    However, the State of Maryland does not recognize same sex marriages performed in other states…. yet!!!

    Therefore how can you divorce someone that you are not “legally” married to?… While I would tend to agree that if you were legally married in the State of California, and you want a Divorce in Maryland, let they have it… Let them pay for it… HOWEVER, at this point, I’m not even sure how California would handle this one right now.

  • robertryan

    This fat fuc has to realize that she: Can’t have her Kate & Edith too.

  • Max

    Sounds to me like they are beginning te realize what the straight married couples already know. Only the lawyers are going to win in this.

  • da big guy

    What a beast

  • kirby

    this fat slob is wasting taxpayers money. no man would deal with her, guess no woman wants to either

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