Banal bliss, glorious divorce hit gay Georgia

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You've both waited for this day. After planning, hand wringing, and a historic Supreme Court marriage ruling, you and yours can finally head to the courthouse … and divorce yourselves from that no-good horrible very bad mistake.

Years of work by thousands of gay forebearers who came before you finally paid off. As you may have heard, gay couples can get married in Georgia. But even as all of Atlanta whooped it up downtown and celebrated in Midtown streets, gay Atlantans like Robert Corona walked against the tide with a whole other kind of relief, he tells the AJC.

As people cheered, hugged and waved rainbow flags, he reflected on his own very different reason to celebrate.

“Oh God, now I can get divorced,” he thought. …

“The only thing worse than divorce, is not being able to get divorced,” said Jeff Graham of the gay rights group Georgia Equality.

Untying the knot isn’t as easy as a plain breakup, no matter how intertwined your lives have become. Other people outside the home get involved, legalities must be settled, and authorities have to recognize your union from another state before they can grant your freedom from it. This gay Atlanta divorce lawyer warned you.

“Marriage is about far more than love,” attorney Jeff Cleghorn told Project Q even before marriage was legal in Georgia. “Getting legally married means that you are entering into a binding contract, so it’s essential that you understand the terms and conditions. This isn’t one of those times when you want to just scroll to the bottom of the page and click ‘accept’ without reading, no matter how aflutter your heart is for your soul mate.”

The safeguards Cleghorn suggested hold true, and you can still heed his three must-take steps now that all legal unions are recognized across the country. But even if you took the plunge without them, gay marriage in Georgia means you can get down to the business of divorce.


Beatific banality and boring bliss


Of course, it isn’t all catfights and dog houses. Marriage equality in Georgia also means sublime routine for thousands of same-sex spouses. Beyond the hype of rainbows and heart-shaped cakes, getting down to regular life is the name of the marriage game across the state.

To our delight, the state made marriage routine. Or to put more of a point it, even officials initially against us made sure we’re not Alabama. They smoothed the path to compliance with the new law of the land.

Gay Atlanta pairs began marrying immediately on June 26, and on July 7, Georgia made it clear that same-sex spouses are eligible for employment benefits in state government and higher education, joining pretty much everyone else in the state.

That kind of matter-of-fact support is a relief. Now gay people can enjoy the everyday stuff of married life, Georgia couple Dustyn Batten and Scott Singletary tell the Washington Post. Little things like making dinner, taking out the trash and deciding which movie to see become what all that activism was really about.

There they were, married, three months and 19 days after they’d set their alarm for 4 a.m., drove across the Florida state line in their pajamas and became Nassau County’s first gay couple to receive a marriage license. … Scott and Dustyn were part of the booming younger generation now working out the “after” part of happily ever after — the marriage part, in all of its loving, magical, banal, petty, conventional, infuriating bliss.

There they were. Married.

And marriage equality means that they can stay that way forever. Or you know, not, if that’s the way their story unfolds.

Congratulations again, Georgia – on your marriages, your divorces and all the regular, unremarkable, just plain equal life that comes in between.


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