Okla. Court Dismisses Suit seeking Same-Sex ‘Divorce’

Thu Nov 27, 2008 - 12:15 pm EST

TULSA, OK, November 27, 2008 ( - An Oklahoma judge today sided with the state’s Supreme Court and dismissed a lawsuit that sought a “divorce” between two women Tuesday.  The two women had been originally “married” in Canada, where same-sex “marriage” is legal.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court had already previously ruled that the lower court was within its authority to dismiss the divorce decree after the trial judge discovered both parties were of the same sex; but the high court returned the case to the trial court because the woman who filed the lawsuit claimed that she didn’t get a fair day in court.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court remanded the case, O’Darling v. O’Darling, back to Tulsa County District Court because the district court had not notified the petitioner, Cait O’Darling, that the case was being dismissed for failing to have a claim that the court could remedy.

ADF attorneys represented Okla. Speaker of the House Chris Benge, on behalf of the Oklahoma House of Representatives, in arguing that Oklahoma law does not permit “divorces” for same-sex relationships.

“The government cannot issue a divorce for a ‘marriage’ it doesn’t recognize.  Oklahomans have made it clear that marriage in their state is only between one man and one woman.  The court’s decision today was not only the right decision, but it was truly the only decision the court could legitimately make under the circumstances,” said ADF Senior Legal Counsel Austin R. Nimocks, who argued before the court Tuesday (

Oklahoma has a constitutional amendment that defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman.  Voters overwhelmingly approved the amendment by 76% in 2004.

Because O’Darling failed to offer satisfactory evidence and argument in support of her claim for a “divorce” in the second hearing, the court upheld its earlier dismissal of the case.

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