Dallas gay man seeking divorce: 'not a poster child'
Speaking publicly for the first time today, a Dallas gay man who is seeking a divorce from his male spouse stressed that he is not "a poster child" for the cause of gay marriage.
The man appeared on an ABC talk television format and said he is not interested in promoting the legalization of gay marriage in Texas or other states.
The man, who identifies himself only as "J.B.," said on ABC’s "Good Morning America Weekend" that his petition for a divorce from his spouse of three years was not intended to be a "test case" for expanding gay rights.
"This is not about gay and lesbian marriage," he said.
The case drew attention after Dallas Judge Tena Callahan ruled Thursday that Texas' 4-year-old ban against gay marriages is unconstitutional because it stands in the way of gay divorces.
J.B. and his partner of 12 years were married in Massachusetts in 2006 after it became the first state to permit gay marriages. Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, who intervened in the divorce case and is appealing Callahan's ruling, contends that the men are not eligible for divorce in Texas because they were not a party to marriage under state law.
Abbott has called the divorce petition an “apparent constitutional attack” on the Texas law that was approved by voters in 2005. Texans overwhelmingly approved the law as an amendment to the Texas Constitution, banning gay marriage and same-sex civil unions.
Accompanied by his attorney, Peter Schulte of Dallas, J.B. echoed points he made in a statement released the day after Callahan’s ruling. Asked if he celebrated after the judge’s decision, he responded: “I don’t think the end of anyone’s marriage can be celebrated as a victory.”
He also suggested that he has received no help from legal representatives in the gay and lesbian community, which has applauded Callahan’s ruling as a major step for gay rights.
“If anybody else had wanted to bring their cause to the table, they could have been there,” he said. “You know, you can’t just jump on when you want to and claim your stake.”