Monday, April 26, 2010

Joy Behar interviews Angelique Naylor

Weekly Round-up; Lisa Oz on Relationships

BEHAR: When Angelique Naylor married her lesbian partner in Massachusetts where same-sex marriage is legal, little did she know she would have so much trouble trying to get a divorce in Texas, the state that banned gay marriage. Apparently Texas wants to preserve the sanctity of divorce.

Joining me now is Angelique Naylor. Hello Angelique, how are you?


BEHAR: It`s ironic that a state that bans gay marriage is trying so hard to keep two lesbians married isn`t it? It warms my heart.

NAYLOR: It`s a little shocking, yes. And I actually wrote a letter to Greg Abbott before I filed for divorce when he went against the Dallas couple and told him he could be the champion for abolishing gay marriage if he would just support gay divorce not knowing I was going to file.

BEHAR: Well, what`s the latest on your legal battle exactly?

NAYLOR: My divorce is final. It was ruled on by the judge February 10th. The final decree got into my hands on March 31st. And now just a few days ago the attorney general has filed a notice of appeal in my case, which is actually kind of strange because there`s another case very similar to mine going to a hearing tomorrow in Dallas in the Appeals Court.

BEHAR: So -- but what`s his problem? Why is he -- why won`t he let you get divorced in Texas? You already got it. I mean he`s overturning the ruling, right?

NAYLOR: Absolutely. He`s appealing a final decree divorce, I believe, for political posturing. It is an election year; he wants to look really strong for the conservative vote.

There was no reason to appeal my case with an almost identical case already going to an appeals hearing in just a few days. It just seemed quite absurd to me, actually.

BEHAR: Well, he said that, quote, "It`s an attack on Texas constitution. If they recognize gay divorce they`ll have to recognize gay marriage." He has a point in a way, doesn`t he?

NAYLOR: I slightly disagree because same-sex marriage is constitutionally banned. It is not possible for two people of the same gender to get married in Texas unless the people voted again and overturned the law. So I do disagree and he can recognize the marriage for the sole purpose of granting the divorce and extend full faith and credit to the state of Massachusetts by granting the divorce.

BEHAR: Right. You`re saying one thing does not necessarily have to do with the other anyway? He`s just posturing.

NAYLOR: He`s just posturing. I believe them to be separate issues, yes.

BEHAR: Ok. Why not get divorced in Massachusetts now?

NAYLOR: There`s a one-year residency requirement and my spouse and I -- my former spouse and I have a 4-year-old boy, businesses, our parents all live here. Our parents are elderly. It just didn`t make economic or financial sense to move to the state of Massachusetts for an entire year when all Texas had to do was extend full faith and credit and go ahead and grant the divorce.

BEHAR: I see. So what are you going to do? What`s your next step?

NAYLOR: Waiting to hear what the Dallas ruling will be and I believe that that hearing is tomorrow and from there deciding what our stance will be with the attorney general. My case is slightly different in that the attorney general is trying to intervene after the fact. However, in the Dallas case he got to those guys before their divorce was final.

So my case, while similar, is slightly different and I think our constitutional arguments will be a little bit different as well.

BEHAR: Ok. Well, Angelique, thank you very much for joining us tonight. And good luck with your situation. Ok.

NAYLOR: Thank you, Joy.