If you live in South Florida, you almost certainly know that June is Pride Month (and this year is especially momentous in light of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots). There are many things to celebrate during Pride Month each year, including the 2015 Supreme Court ruling that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide. Prior to that ruling, the practice was legal in some states, illegal in some states and constitutionally banned in others.
In the years since same-sex marriage became legal, many gay and lesbian couples have gotten married, and a significant number have gotten divorced. Although certain gay couples might view divorce as a failure (especially after just being granted the right to marry), some see it as another sign of equality and parity with heterosexual couples.
This was the subject of recent article in the Atlantic. The author notes that he and his husband were married in California about two years before the Supreme Court ruling. And the pair ultimately separated and divorced about five years after getting married. He said that the divorce was difficult and messy (like most divorces), but that it also demonstrated that his marriage had been recognized by the state and that he was being subjected to the same (less-than-enjoyable) responsibilities as heterosexual couples.
The author also notes that he and others have experienced moments of guilt and shame about letting down the LGBTQ community and potentially giving gay-marriage opponents ammunition to claim that same-sex marriages are bound to fail because marriage should only be between a man and a woman (obviously, these feelings were illogical, but hard to dismiss nonetheless).
But upon reflection, gay divorce may be one of the clearest signs of marriage equality, because it relieves members of the LGBTQ community from needing to serve as positive examples to justify same-sex marriage. The author says: “It may be ugly, but divorce—just as much as marriage—is part of the rights and responsibilities that come with marriage equality.”
Whether you are in a same-sex marriage or a heterosexual marriage, divorce is a protection and responsibility granted to each person who needs to utilize it. If or when that time comes for you, please discuss your options with an experienced family law attorney in your area.