Judge to Lesbian Couple: No, You Can't Divorce

Judge says Alabama couple can't legally split

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Mar 13, 2014 12:46 PM CDT

(Newser) – A lesbian couple is caught in a weird vortex of differing laws on gay marriage: They want to divorce but can't do so legally. Michelle Richmond and Kirsten Allysse Richmond got married in Iowa in 2012 but later moved to Alabama, which doesn't recognize same-sex marriage. Yesterday, a county judge in Huntsville dismissed their divorce request because, in the state's eyes, they were never married in the first place, reports Al.com.

The women's attorney plans to appeal under the Constitution's equal-protection clause of the 14th Amendment. "This ruling is based simply on the gender of these two women," he says. The women can't just head back to Iowa for a divorce, either, notes NBC News. Iowa requires a year of legal residence before granting a divorce, and the women would have to start from scratch because they've been Alabama for a while now.

File photo.
File photo.   (AP Photo/ Fay Abuelgasim, File)
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