EDITORIAL: The gay divorcees

What should a Texas court do with same-sex bliss gone bad?

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Homosexuals have redefined marriage in 14 states and the District of Columbia, and now they’re about to get their just desserts. Some of them are becoming gay divorcees.

Texas is one of the 36 states that does not recognize the union of man and man, woman and woman, or other and other, but it’s having to decide what to do when such couples move to Texas. The Texas Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case asking whether the Texas Constitution, which defines marriage as solely between one man and one woman, forbids Texas courts from granting divorces to same-sex couples who had a ceremony where it’s legal. The marriages at issue took place in Massachusetts.

A court in Austin, which the New Republic magazine describes as “just a small blue island in a red sea,” upheld the divorce of a lesbian couple, while another court, in Dallas, a big red island in a red sea, decided that it had no authority to do so. Both rulings were appealed. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott argued in the Austin case that allowing Texas to grant the divorce presupposes recognizing the marriage as legitimate.

Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire could not have foreseen all this in “The Gay Divorcee,” but just as in their 1934 movie musical, there’s plenty of song and dance here. The State of Texas v. Angelique Naylor and Sabrina Daly is what the Hollywood remake might look like today, though neither of the cases in Texas, unlike that of Fred and Ginger, is about infidelity.

State Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican, who is running for governor, is standing up for the Texans who enshrined the traditional definition of marriage in their state Constitution when it was put to a referendum in 2005. Texans are waiting to see whether state Sen. Wendy Davis, Mr. Abbott’s probable Democratic opponent next year, will mount a filibuster in defense of homosexual divorce.

Homosexual rights groups vow to validate same-sex nuptials in all 50 states, which is likely to be a long, hard slog in Texas and the rest of the states in the “flyover country” between the coasts. Gay blades in rusted homosexual marriages and ladies who aspire to be gay divorcees should avoid Texas, but if travel they must, they are well advised to take a team of Philadelphia lawyers with them. The scent of orange blossoms, or whatever, will give way to the sour aroma of a legal proceeding that dare not speak its name, because no one knows yet what to call it.

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