In late February, a federal judge ruled that Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional and stayed his ruling pending appeal. A state judge has now ruled likewise, paving the way for a San Antonio couple to proceed with their divorce and child custody case.
The latest ruling comes in response to a same-sex divorce lawsuit that was filed in Bexar County in February by Allison Leona Flood Lesh and Kristi Lyn Lesh, who were married in Washington, D.C., in August 2010. Kristi Lesh became pregnant through artificial insemination during the marriage and gave birth Feb. 19, 2013. Her attorney argued that because Allison Flood Lesh isn’t the biological or adoptive parent, Kristi Lesh should retain sole custody. Allison Flood Lesh is seeking to split custody of the child. Because Texas doesn’t recognize same-sex marriages, there’s also no legal avenue available to pursue a divorce. In a separate case involving couples from Austin and Dallas, attorney James J. “Jody” Scheske argued before the state Supreme Court in November that same-sex divorces should be allowed. The court has yet to issue a ruling.
Texas Attorney General and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott is appealing the February ruling to the Fifth Circuit Court.