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.

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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. (Read more Alabama stories.)

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