The Supreme Court’s decision to strike down part of the Defense of Marriage Act means the U.S. government will recognize state-sanctioned gay marriages, but it won’t necessarily make it easier for American gays to divorce.
The high court struck down one part of DOMA — section 3, which effectively deprived gay married couples of the federal benefits straight marrieds get.
Section 2 of DOMA — which says states don’t have to recognize other states’ gay marriages — is still technically alive, and that makes divorce harder to come by for some married gays.
Say a gay couple in Georgia goes to Massachusetts for the weekend to get married. That gay couple can’t go back to Massachusetts to end their marriage because the state has residency requirements for divorces. And Georgia might not let them get a divorce because the state doesn’t recognize their gay marriage in the first place.