Friday, December 07, 2007

Rhode Island court prevents lesbian couple from divorcing, Al Gore praises ruling as good for the Earth

Marriage, it's not just a word. It's a sentence. For Cassandra Ormiston and Margaret Chambers, marriage just might mean forever.

A lesbian couple that married in Massachusetts cannot get divorced in their home state of Rhode Island, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday.

The court, in a 3-2 decision, said the state's family court lacks the authority to grant the divorce of a same-sex couple because Rhode Island lawmakers have not defined marriage as anything other than a union between a man and a woman.

"The role of the judicial branch is not to make policy, but simply to determine the legislative intent," the court wrote.

Cassandra Ormiston and Margaret Chambers wed in Massachusetts in 2004 and filed for divorce last year in Rhode Island, where they both live. But opponents of same-sex marriage said the court correctly avoided taking a step toward recognizing such unions.

Massachusetts, the only state where gay marriage is legal, restricts the unions to residents of states where the marriage would be recognized, and a Massachusetts judge decided last year that Rhode Island is one of those states.

No law specifically bans same-sex marriages in Rhode Island, but the state has taken no action to recognize them. The justices said Rhode Island laws contain numerous references to marriage as between a woman and a man.

"My civil rights, my human rights have been denied," Ormiston said in a phone interview after the ruling.
I would just observe that if one of the divorcee wannabes is talking about "human rights" then living with the other person must be a Living Hell.