A recent vote in the District of Columbia is making it easier for same-sex couples who were married in the district but have moved away to be granted a divorce. D.C. legalized same sex marriage in 2009 but requires a same-sex couple seeking divorce to complete a six-month residency requirement. For many couples who have moved outside of D.C., this requirement leaves them in a difficult position: move back to D.C. or one of a few states that recognize same-sex divorce or remain in an unhappy marriage.
The Civil Marriage Dissolution Equality Amendment Act of 2011 is currently working its way through the D.C. Council. A unanimous vote from the Committee on the Judiciary in D.C. on January 10 means the bill will soon be presented to the full council. If passed, this bill will relax the residency requirement for same-sex divorce, creating more uniform divorce laws for same-sex and opposite-sex couples.