For years, we’ve been hearing about the controversy that surrounds same-sex marriage. However, there is an equally controversial topic that has failed to make the mainstream media: same-sex divorce.
Of all the LGBT issues, this is the most under-reported. Unfortunately, it is also one of the trickiest issues to resolve.
Understanding the Issue
Divorce is a legal issue that is settled by the states. Therefore, there is no federal statute that regulates divorce – homosexual or heterosexual.
Since same-sex marriage is determined on a state-by-state basis, same-sex divorce is likewise regulated. If a state doesn’t allow same-sex marriages, it doesn’t allow same-sex divorce. The state doesn’t recognize the union, so granting a termination of the marriage is out of the question.
What Options Are There?
If a couple lives in a state that doesn’t allow same-sex marriages, they probably traveled to another state for their union. Basically, if they want a divorce, the same thing needs to happen.
However, traveling to a new state for a divorce isn’t nearly as easy as going there for a marriage! For a wedding, the couple can simply pop in for a few days. For a divorce, the couple might have to live there as a permanent resident for more than six months!
If the couple decides this is too cumbersome, they will simply have to stay in the union. On the surface, this may not seem like a big deal. However, it is much more complicated than it seems. If either couple ever hopes to remarry, they’ll have to get divorced or face bigamy charges. Plus, assets – like their house, bank accounts, life insurance policy – will remain linked as long as the marriage is intact.
The Prejudice Surrounding Same-Sex Divorce
Many people – inside and outside the LGBT community – have negative feelings about same-sex divorce. These same-sex couples fought so hard for their right to marry. Casting their marriage aside seems like a huge personal failure.
The issue of same-sex divorce should be brought to center stage, right alongside same-sex marriage. There are so many LGBT issues individuals are already faced with; ending an unhappy marriage shouldn’t be one of them.