A Texas appeals court on Friday ruled
that state Attorney General Greg Abbott cannot block the divorce of a
lesbian couple, the AP reported.
Sabina Daly of San Antonio and
Angelique Naylor of Austin were married in Massachusetts in 2004.
The couple later moved to Texas, where they built a home restoration
and renovation business and adopted their son.
Last February, Abbott attempted to
intervene in the women's divorce the day after County District Judge
Scott Jenkins ruled in their favor. Jenkins said that while both
parties had yet to sign off on the final decree, oral judgments are
final in Travis County family court and therefore the state could not
intervene in the case.
Abbott appealed the decision, saying
that “Texas can't have a faulty precedent on the books that
validates an illegal law.” In other statements, Abbott said he
feared the divorce, along with a second case, would open the door to
gay marriage in Texas.
A three-judge panel of the Third Texas
Court of Appeals in Austin ruled that the state could not appeal the
case because it did not have legal standing.
Texas, however, has already ruled that
the state cannot dissolve the out-of-state marriages of gay and
lesbian couples. An
appeals court in August ruled that two men – known only as J.B. and
H.B. – who married in Massachusetts cannot get a divorce in Texas.
The court ruled against the state
because Abbott waited too long, Ken Upton, a staff attorney for
Lambda Legal, told the AP.