Judge refuses to let lesbian couple get divorced

Mon. February 7, 2011 1:25 AM by GoPride.com News Staff

Nebraska City, Neb. - Brenda Mueller and Deborah Pry had a hard time getting married. Now they're having an even harder time getting divorced.

The lesbian couple from Nebraska got married in Vermont in a ceremony that was at the time considered a civil union. Since then, Vermont has legalized gay marriage.

Last September, they filed for divorce in Otoe County Court, NECN.com reports, after they had already agreed upon a custody arrangement for their young daughter.

But the judge said since Nebraska law defines a marriage as being between a man and a woman, a divorce can only be between a man and a woman.

"The first thing we tell same-sex couples who live in a non-recognition state: Think long and hard before you get married and returned home. Not only do you face the lack of access to divorce courts, you lack the safeguards that state marriage laws provide different-sex married couples," Lambda Legal attorney Ken Upton told NECN.

In 2000, 70 percent of Nebraska voters approved a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. The ban was ruled too broad by one judge, but his decision was overturned by a higher court.