It is common to hear about a divorce in the news today as many marriages end in this manner. It is easy for people to become desensitized to the news, especially if they personally have not gone through the same experience. Many people do not realize that going through a divorce is comparable to dealing with the death of a loved one. These experiences are even more devastating for someone who is famous because his or her divorce details will be displayed throughout tabloids and entertainment news programs as constant reminders of their loss. One famous woman, married in Massachusetts, is learning about the complexity of the process of receiving a same-sex divorce.
Over the last couple of decades, attitudes and laws have changed drastically for same-sex couples. For example, Massachusetts set the standard for several other states by legalizing same-sex marriage years ago. While other states followed suit, there are still almost 40 states that have not legalized marriage between same-sex couples. Unfortunately, such variance in state laws causes' mass confusion for same-sex couples, their employees, and, occasionally, their healthcare providers.
There have been huge gains made in the civil rights movement in the last 100 years. Knowing this, it is difficult to conceive that some people are still being discriminated against in modern times. Same-sex couples are still seeking equality. However, a bill soon to be presented to Congress will take a step in the right direction by banning discrimination in adoptions based on sexual orientation. While some states, such as Massachusetts, have laws allowing same-sex partner adoption, 39 states do not have laws that ban discrimination against the LGBT population.
Issues of gay rights have been widely reported in the news in recent weeks as the U.S. Supreme Court considers the issue. If the Supreme Court rules that a ban against same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, the lives of many gays and lesbians in Massachusetts and across the United States could be positively affected. Recently, one of the Supreme Court justices expressed concern over the decision he was forced to consider. His main concern was about the well-being of children parented by same-sex couples. A recent study conducted by Boston University should put any concerns at rest.
The Supreme Court frequently rules on cases that have an impact on the nation as a whole. The country has been anxiously waiting for the Court's ruling on same-sex marriage, including states such as Massachusetts that currently allow it. Not only does the anticipated ruling have the potential to settle whether gay couples have the right to marry, it also has the potential of resolving issues resolving same-sex divorce.
As the Supreme Court is set to mull over the legality of same-sex marriage, the American Academy of Pediatrics has come out in further support of gay rights. The policy adopted by the organization of pediatricians was originally written by two Massachusetts doctors from Boston. In the statement, the organization strongly emphasizes its support of same-sex marriage, specifically civil unions. Additionally, they outlined their support for adoption rights and opportunities to be a foster parent for single gay people.
There may be some in Massachusetts that haven't heard that a provision of the Defense of Marriage Act has been put before the U.S. Supreme Court. If the provision is struck down by the Supreme Court, it could not only affect same-sex marriages, but also what happens in a same-sex divorce. There are many couples preparing for the possibility that the provision will be eliminated from the Act.
Same-sex marriage is currently legal in nine states, including Massachusetts, as well as Washington, D.C. However, same-sex divorce is already starting to affect the legal system and same-sex couples in these states. The complications arise from same-sex couples who move out of the state in which they married and from legislation that affects same-sex marriage.
Massachusetts residents may be aware of an unusual divorce case making headlines across the nation. The case involves a transgender man who is seeking a divorce from his wife. The details of the case have a family court judge in one state struggling to accurately define not only gender specifications, but also untangle the legalities of one marriage. The outcome will help clarify the manner in which courts across the nation address issues related to same-sex divorce.
When is a same-sex marriage in Massachusetts not a lawful marriage? A recently ruling by our state Supreme Court held that another state's civil union would be recognized as a marriage in the Bay State. The case involved a same-sex couple that was married here. During a subsequent same-sex divorce proceeding, one party learned that his spouse had entered a civil union in a neighboring state in 2003.