A woman is asking the conservative state of Mississippi to recognize her out-of-state gay marriage so that she can get a divorce.
Lauren Beth Czekala-Chatham married her wife, Dana Ann Melancon, in California, but the couple lived together in Southaven, Miss., until they separated in 2010.
Czekala-Chatham could potentially pursue a divorce in California, which exempts same-sex couple from divorce laws that generally require at least one spouse to be a resident of the state for six months. But according to the California courts website, the state might not be able to issue rulings on matters such as property ownership, debt, alimony or children.
Czekala-Chatham filed her divorce petition in DeSoto County Chancery Court on Sept. 11. Her lawyer, J. Wesley Hisaw (HIGH’-saw), said a favorable ruling on the petition would not mean that same-sex couples could get married in Mississippi because that’s banned under Mississippi statute.
“My client is not looking to start gay marriage in Mississippi. She wants the marriage from another state to be recognized so she can get a divorce and protect herself,” Hisaw said.