Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Abbott: Divorce is only between a man and a woman

The hypocrisy is strong with this one.

Attorney General Greg Abbott is trying to halt the divorce of two women in Austin on grounds their Massachusetts marriage is not recognized in Texas.

A Travis County state district judge on Feb. 10 granted a divorce in court to Sabina Daly, 41, of San Antonio, and Angelique Naylor, 39, of Austin. Abbott's aides went to court the following day to block the divorce before the written decree was entered.

“A divorce is an ending or a termination of a valid legal marriage,” Abbott said Tuesday. “In this instance there was no valid legal marriage recognized by the state of Texas. Texas can't have a faulty precedent on the books that validates an illegal law.”

The United States Constitution says you're wrong, "General" Abbott.

Article IV, Section 1: "Full faith and credit shall be given in each state to the public acts, records, and judicial proceedings of every other state. And the Congress may by general laws prescribe the manner in which such acts, records, and proceedings shall be proved, and the effect thereof."

There's also the common-law marriages that are recognized Texas courts, under § 2.401 of the Texas Family Code:

(A)n informal marriage can be established either by declaration (registering at the county courthouse without having a ceremony), or by meeting a 3-prong test showing evidence of (1) an agreement to be married; (2) cohabitation in Texas; and (3) representation to others that the parties are married. A 1995 update adds an evidentiary presumption that there was no marriage if no suit for proof of marriage is filed within two years of the date the parties separated and ceased living together.

But I'm no lawyer; surely this has been previously argued and a conservative judge has tossed it (you go do the FindLaw; I'm already tired of Googling this morning). Abbott has tried to to stop gay people from divorcing before and is still appealing the previous case...

It was not the first time Abbott's office has sought to halt a same-sex divorce. He intervened last October in a Dallas case when two men were granted a divorce.

Luther said in that case Abbott intervened before the divorce was decreed in open court. The judge in that case rejected Abbott's arguments and the state has appealed to try to overturn the divorce.

There are states where people can legally marry their first cousins -- such as Texas -- and there are states which do not, and those states still recognize those unions. "Moral objection" out the window.

But-but-but Article I, Sec. 32 of the Texas Constitution says marriage can only be between one man and one woman. And it was approved by 76% of Texas voters in 2005. (What that tells you, incidentally, is that a whole lot of Texas Democrats voted in favor of it.  Just so you know.)

That, as you may recall, was challenged recently by both Dallas civil court Judge Tena Callahan and the presumptive Democratic nominee for Texas Attorney General, Barbara Radnofsky. As I mentioned here, this matter of Texas voters codifying discrimination into the state constitution is ripe for legal challenge.

Just a cursory review of the case law exposes the attorney general of Texas as a rank hypocrite and willing tool of the social ultraconservatives.

Greg Abbott is nothing more than Pat Robertson with a law degree, and he only uses his legal education if he can con the Talibaptists and other Christianists in Texas into believing that he fights the Good Lord's battles here on Earth.

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