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Former Massachusetts couple fighting for same-sex couples rights

A same-sex couple that used to live in Massachusetts is struggling to get divorced in another state. It is not yet clear if they will succeed, and they find themselves fighting for the basic right to divorce. The proceedings that are taking place in a southeastern state underscore the ongoing struggles for same-sex couples rights.

The two individuals were married in 2010 in Massachusetts. Subsequently, they moved down south. The two are now attempting to divorce, but it appears to be a bigger battle than they may have originally imagined. Only one of the two appeared in court for a hearing, where they hoped they would hear that the judge would grant the dissolution of their marriage.

The proceedings are pending in Florida, a state that does not yet recognize same-sex marriages. The judge is struggling with a decision to grant the divorce because the state doesn't legally recognize their marriage in the first place. The parties could move back to Massachusetts, but they would have to satisfy the residency requirements in our state before a divorce could be granted in the Bay State. They would have to reestablish residency in Massachusetts for a one year period before a divorce could be granted in this state.

Understandably, the one year residency requirement in Massachusetts is a roadblock for a couple that wants to get a divorce now. In the meantime, the parties find themselves fighting for same-sex couples rights in the state of Florida. The Florida judge has requested that the parties return to court later in April for a hearing, during which their arguments to spur the court to grant the divorce will be heard. While it remains to be seen what the court will decide, the parties have suggested they intend to appeal the case to the state's highest court should the divorce petition be denied.

Source: wtsp.com, "Same-sex couple will argue for a divorce in Florida on April 22", Preston Rudie, March 27, 2014

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