I Got Gay Married. I Got Gay Divorced. I Regret Both.
Same-sex marriage and its laws have always been in constant flux.
With its continued legalization in 2017, the process has been made exponentially less difficult, but divorce is a different story. If you’re finding that therapy or trial separations are no longer beneficial to repairing your marriage, divorce may be the answer.
Divorce, no matter the gender, is long and painful for all involved. If you have any questions or need some advice, feel free to give us at Jason Elliott a call to schedule an appointment.
LOS ANGELES — In 2008, gay marriage was so new, my wife and I had a hard time finding a lawyer to help us legally join our lives together.
In 2013, gay divorce was so new, I had a hard time finding a lawyer to take our marriage apart.
We fell in love in the ’90s, when getting legally married wasn’t something two women could do. We danced in the streets on May 15, 2008, when the California Supreme Court ruled that “an individual’s sexual orientation — like a person’s race or gender — does not constitute a legitimate basis upon which to deny or withhold legal rights.”
And we decided to tie the knot ourselves the day before Election Day that year, when it suddenly seemed that California Proposition 8 was going to pass, banning same-sex marriage again.
Beneath an arbor of grimy plastic ivy at the Alameda County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, we wept grateful tears as we swore to “love, honor, and keep each other, in sickness and in health, as long as we both shall live.”
Twenty-four hours later, Prop 8 did pass, changing the marital status of 18,000 same-sex California couples from “married” to “who knows?”
Also unknown: why the happiest day of our life together was one of our last happy days. Why nothing we tried — individual and marriage therapy, romantic vacations, trial separations — could fix us.
In 2013 I Googled “gay divorce lawyer” and found only “gay family law” attorneys. I called the one with the best Yelp reviews.
“I need to file for d — ” The word caught in my throat.
In many cities over many years, my wife and I had marched for marriage equality. We’d argued with the haters and we’d argued with the gay people who said that legal marriage would co-opt us, diminish us, turn us into a caricature of “normal” married people. We swore we could enjoy the rights only marriage conferred and still have our gender-fluid commitment ceremonies, our chosen-family configurations, our dexterity at turning friends into lovers and vice versa.