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New legislation targets same-sex divorce

March 3, 2010 |  4:19 pm

You've heard the debate about same-sex marriage. Now one San Francisco lawmaker wants to simplify same-sex divorce.

A new bill by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, a Democrat, would make it easier for gay and lesbian couples to legally separate. The bill, AB 2700, aims to streamline the separation process for same-sex couples who are both registered as domestic partners and legally married. Under current law, two separate legal processes are needed to nullify a domestic partnership and obtain a legal divorce.

Ma's bill would allow one judge to handle both in a single proceeding. Same-sex couples do not have the right to marry under current California law. They were given the right  by the state Supreme Court in May 2008, but that was overturned in November 2008, when California voters approved Proposition 8, creating a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage.

In May 2009, the state high court upheld the legality of Proposition 8 but ruled that the marriages of couples who wed during the months when it was legal in California would be allowed to stand.

-- Anthony York in Sacramento