Final Protective Fire


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Volokh Conspiracy
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Prof Bainbridge Blog
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Jim Dunnigan's site
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Monday, July 28, 2003

Stanley Kurtz asks a question about how different jurisdictions would handle "divorce" decrees from states that might recognize gay marriage. Read his hypothetical here.

I think that the answer is that while Texas, in his hypothetical, would not recognize the marriage, it would recognize the final court judgment regarding the ownership of property. There are parallels in precedents for cases where courts recognize the divorce decree of marriages that they would not sanctify themselves ( for reasons like consanguity or age of consent ).

When one reads the various cases on the Full Faith and Credit clause, one finds that while the U.S. Supreme Court opinions do not require a state to give effect to laws in other states that conflict with its own public policy, the finality of a court judgment in another state is given great importance. To Texas, the final decree is just a court judgment resolving ownership of property. Texas isn't required to "recognize" the marriage, just the ownership of property.

When I get a chance later, I'll add some case citations in support of the above.