Saturday, June 25, 2011

Gay Divorce

Amid all the celebrating at the Stonewall Inn and elsewhere, the advent of same-sex marriage in New York stirs in the spouse and co-author of a book by a divorce lawyer memories of how archaic and brutal that state’s divorce laws have always been.

It was only a year ago that New York, which now recognizes the inhumanity of denying legitimacy to those who want to share their lives lovingly and legally, was still forcing heterosexual couples in failed marriages into dishonest warfare that encouraged them to lie and cheat, enrich divorce attorneys and, worst of all, damage their children in protracted court fights.

Last July 1st, the state became the last in the union to legalize no-fault grounds for dissolving a marriage in a relatively humane way. Now, it joins Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, and the District of Columbia as the only places in the U.S. where same-sex couples can get legally married.

Moral and religious arguments over the issue will go on, but in the presumably most sophisticated area of the country, both developments will go a long way toward preventing judges and lawyers from torturing Americans in their bedrooms and keep them in the courts and legislatures where they increasingly have their hands full doing just that.

Meanwhile, if some of New York’s newly sanctioned unions don’t work out, here is a place to get help and save time, money and heartache in dissolving them. Two small steps for mankind...

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