Chesterton Tribune



Same sex divorce request to test Indiana law

Back To Front Page

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) An Indiana man who married his same-sex partner in Massachusetts is testing his home state's legal boundaries, having filed a divorce petition there despite the state's refusal to recognize such unions.

Donald Schultz Lee doesn't meet the residency requirement for a divorce in Massachusetts, so his attorney filed his petition to divorce Justin Schultz Lee with the Marion County clerk's office in Indianapolis.

Clerk Beth White told WISH-TV that last week's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act is likely to "create some situations I think all around the state of Indiana that many of us are not used to handling."

Indiana courts have already ruled that the state doesn't recognize same-sex divorce. State law defines marriage as a union between a man and a woman, and lawmakers are expected to push next year to write that ban into the Indiana constitution.

Kathy Harmon, the attorney for Donald Schultz Lee, said laws need to change in Indiana or Massachusetts in order for her client to dissolve his marriage.

"If we're successful, my client gets a divorce, which is what he's seeking," Harmon said. "If that makes new law, then that makes new law."

Harmon said she expects Judge David Shaheed to reject the divorce petition but plans to appeal if that happens.

Donald Schultz Lee said he doesn't want to be a pioneer and simply wants to end his marriage.

"Unfortunately, my marriage didn't work out," he said. "That happens, and I'm just proceeding with my life the way anyone would."


Posted 7/1/2013