Sunday, February 12, 2012

Lesbian Plaintiffs In CA Marriage Case Divorcing

The landmark California ruling in Re Marriage Cases which resulted in the legalization of marriage in my home state was a consolidation of multiple lawsuits challenging legal provisions prohibiting same-sex couples from getting married. One of those lawsuits was brought by famed feminis attorney Gloria Allred and featured the lesbian plaintiffs Robin Tyler and Diane Olson suing the state of California to recognize their fundamental right to marry each other. Tyler has been a fixture in lesbian and gay activist circles for at least a quarter century.

This week came word that even though they were one of the first couples to get married in Los Angeles County on June 14, 2008, Olson and Tyler have recently filed for divorce.

NBC-LA reports:
We're human and we went through difficult times," Tyler said. The marriage ran its course, she said.  
Tyler and Olson have known each other for 40 years and were together as a couple for 18. They were the poster couple for gay and lesbian rights.
When they wed, in June of 2008, they had gone to the Beverly Hills Courthouse every year for seven years to apply for -- and be denied- a marriage license.
The ceremony on the steps of the same courthouse was a monumental moment for gay couples everywhere. 
People will also be reminded that the lead plaintiffs in the Massachusetts marriage case, Hilary Goodridge also divorced a few short years after winning the right to marry. What some people fail to realize is that these couples were often together for years if not decades before they could get legally married, which has only been available since May 17, 2004  in this country. My husband and I will celebrate our 4th wedding anniversary this August (on Roger Federer's birthday!) but we have been together as a couple since 1991 (over 21 years).

Where there is marriage there will also be divorce. But just as marriage is a happy public moment, so is divorce the flip side.

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