Gay couples legally married in other states cannot get a divorce in Texas, where same-sex marriage is banned, a state appeals court ruled Tuesday.
The 5th Texas Court of Appeals ruled that a Dallas district court judge didn't have the authority to hear a divorce case involving two Dallas men who married in Massachusetts in 2006. Republican state Attorney General Greg Abbott's office had appealed after Judge Tena Callahan, a Democrat, said she did have jurisdiction and dismissed the state's attempt to intervene.
"Today's court of appeals decision overruled the district court's improper ruling, confirmed the constitutionality of Texas' traditional definition of marriage and correctly found that Texas courts lack the legal authority to grant divorces to same-sex couples," said Abbott spokesman Jerry Strickland.
Callahan also had ruled Texas couldn't limit marriage to a man and a woman, but the appeals court said the state's same-sex marriage ban was constitutional.