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Texas trying to reverse gay divorce decree

AUSTIN, Texas – The attorney general in the Lone Star State is trying to do the Texas two-step and get invalidated a divorce recently granted to a lesbian couple.

On Feb. 10, a state district judge in Travis County granted a divorce to Sabina Daly, 41, of San Antonio, and Angelique Naylor, 39, of Austin. The women were married in 2004 in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal.

On Feb. 11, aides to Attorney General Greg Abbott went to court in an attempt to prevent the divorce.

“A divorce is an ending or a termination of a valid legal marriage,” Abbott told reporters yesterday. “In this instance there was no valid legal marriage recognized by the state of Texas. Texas can't have a faulty precedent on the books that validates an illegal law.”

Attorneys for the two women contend that the divorce is legal, but acknowledge that they expect litigation to continue.

The couple have said that their marriage grew rocky in 2007 and that they sought the divorce to settle business matters and family issues, including custody arrangements for their adopted child.

“If we stop fighting, there's less stress on the family and less stress on the child,” Naylor told reporters. “It wasn't about politics. It wasn't about gay rights. It was about two people who had serious legal issues that needed to be resolved. A lot was accomplished in spite of the attorney general's private political agenda. We came to peace.”

This is the second time that the attorney general has intervened in same-sex divorce. In October, Abbott tried to prevent two men from divorcing in Dallas. Abbott intervened before the decision was made, but the judge in the Dallas case dismissed the attorney general’s arguments and the divorce was decreed. The state has appealed the decree, hoping to overturn the men’s divorce.

Ken Williams can be reached at ken@sdgln.com or by calling (877) 727-5446, Extension 713\i>.