D.C. moves to adjust divorce law for same-sex marriages
Same-sex marriages are recognized in only a handful of jurisdictions nationwide.
January 11th, 2012
12:31 PM ET

D.C. moves to adjust divorce law for same-sex marriages

The Washington City Council is on track to make it easier for same-sex couples who got married in the District of Columbia to get divorced.

D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson proposed the legislation after hearing reports that same-sex couples who wed in the District were being denied divorces after moving to jurisdictions that don't recognize same-sex marriages. The District of Columbia began allowing same-sex marriages in 2010. But those marriages are recognized in only a handful of places, meaning divorce proceedings can't be started in many places that haven't recognized the marriages in the first place.

"I received a number of reports from couples or attorneys about this impossible situation," Mendelson told the Washington Examiner.

Mendelson's bill removes a six-month waiting period during which someone seeking a divorce must reside in the District, provided the marriage occurred in the District in the first place.

The Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington has applauded Mendelson's bill.

"This bill fills a gap in the law created by our being ahead of the historical curve. None of us celebrates the dissolution of a marriage, but equality under the law must extend to every contingency. The lack of a clear legal mechanism for divorce can make an unhappy situation much worse for all involved," Rick Rosendall, the alliance's vice president for political affairs, said in a statement.

The bill was co-sponsored by seven other members of the 13-member council, meaning final passage is likely.

Approval by the mayor or an override of a veto is required, as is a 30-day congressional review period, before the measure can become law.

soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. gung hoe

    I tried to warn them when they was getting marriage approved.Really I did try to warn them that if you get married your screwing up a good thing ya guys got going

    January 11, 2012 at 8:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    I didn't know that Philip cared for me.

    January 11, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    It would never work, however: I've been studying to become a priest.

    January 11, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Emelia

    Not all of them. Many, many of my LGBT friends just want to be married to those they love. My neighbors Jeff and Robert have been together 60+ of their 80 years, through thick and thin. You tell me they can't be loving and committed as any other group. The thing is though, of course some couples are gonna get hitched because they can. The only difference between hetero and LGBT is while we heteros can be stupid, marry, and divorce like nothing happened, they don't get to, and can end up stuck like this. 🙁

    January 11, 2012 at 8:56 pm | Report abuse |
  5. bobcat (in a hat)©

    @ Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™
    I think you may have just scared Philip off with that last one.

    January 11, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      We could never be that fortunate.

      January 11, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Are they doing this just so they'll have the same rights to pay alimony and child support if they have children through adoption or previous marriage ?

    January 11, 2012 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • mickey1313

      that is a yes.

      January 12, 2012 at 12:14 am | Report abuse |


    January 11, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |
  8. bobcat (in a hat)©

    Hey banasy©
    I finally got a couple good bites on that van der
    sloot story. That was pretty funny.

    January 11, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Ooh, I'll have to go look. I could use a laugh!

      January 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
  9. mickey1313

    I do not think they should make ANY devorce easy. Make marage hard to get into, and only posible to get out of in cases of infedelity or abuse, not because "they dont love eachother anymore"

    January 12, 2012 at 12:12 am | Report abuse |
    • M in Oz

      Yeah chain those men and women together and implant new brains that put up with all kinds of crap over time. Yeah let's do that...you first Mickey...

      January 12, 2012 at 12:48 am | Report abuse |
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