Lesbian Couple Loses Effort to Divorce in Rhode Island

A lesbian couple has been denied the right to divorce in Rhode Island — seeking to dissolve a license from Massachusetts.  While some could claim that anti-gay marriage advocates are now preserving such a union, the Rhode Island Supreme Court has ruled that there is no marriage to dissolve since in that state only men and women can marry.   These cases are an obvious attempt to use the full faith and credit clause to force other states to recognize civil unions and gay marriages from other states. It is an effort that is unlikely to succeed. In this case, Cassandra Ormiston and Margaret Chambers were married in Massachusetts in 2004 but filed for divorce last year in Rhode Island, where they both live.It was a close vote of 3-2 in Rhode Island. If it is any solace to gay right advocates, a favorable decision in Rhode Island would have likely triggered a renewed effort to pass a constitutional amendment. This is not the way to get the nation to embrace the concept of civil unions or gay marriages. It will be a hard fight on a state by state basis. If the community accepts this challenge, they can rightfully point to advocates of a constitutional amendment as being anti-states rights. Notably, Thompson opposes gay marriages but also a constitutional amendment on that ground.Of course my preference could be to get rid of the term marriage all together. For a prior column, click hereFor the story on the Rhode Island case, click here