Texas Gay Divorce: Court Rules Against Abbott, But on Technical Terms

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott intervened as fast as he could in a lesbian divorce case in Austin, but it wasn't fast enough, an appeals court has ruled.

Abbott wanted to intervene in the suit because God knows if he didn't it would have led inexorably to GAY MARRIAGE right here in Texas, at least in his fevered mind.

The 3rd Court of Appeals ruled today that Abbott filed his intervention too late, and that he didn't have any standing to file it anyway.

On the other hand, the 3rd court made clear that its ruling was not intended as any kind of challenge to a Texas law that says marriage (and divorce) is only legal if it's between a man and a woman.

"To allow the State to intervene at this stage of the proceedings would greatly prejudice not only the existing parties and their creditors, but the child whose custody situation remains unsettled while this litigation continues," the opinion said. "The State, on the other hand, is not prejudiced in any way if it is unable to intervene on appeal, as it is in no way bound by the trial court's judgment or otherwise prevented from defending any state statute from constitutional attack."

The case involved a couple who were married in Massachusetts, moved to Texas and became estranged. Their finances were incredibly complex. (The trial judge said at one point, "We have two people who have decided, decided, not to do good accounting. . . . So we have an incredibly complex legal problem. We have an incredibly complex factual problem with . . . poor accounting.")

The divorce was "granted" by the judge as part of straightening out those finances and custody of a child.

KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Richard Connelly
Contact: Richard Connelly