Florida Judge Issues State’s First Gay Divorce

AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic
AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic
Fort Lauderdale, FL

With the legal privilege of gay marriage comes the need to break those ties, and Florida has now racked up its first gay divorce, reports say.

One of the Sunshine State’s judges—who helped with a case that ruled a ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional—has now become the first judge in the state to issue a divorce for a gay couple.

Circuit Judge Dale Cohen of Broward County issued a divorce for Heather Brassner and Megan Lade on December 17.

Heather Brassner pronounced the divorce the best “holiday gift” she could receive and said it was “like an emotional weight being lifted off” of her.

The gay couple married in Vermont in 2002, but since fell apart. Strangely, Brassner reported that her partner had disappeared a few years ago and even a private detective couldn’t locate her.

Because the license was issued in Vermont, though, it was questionable whether a Florida judge could issue a divorce. But Florida’s Attorney General Pam Bondi said she would not immediately stand in the way of the divorce case, allowing judge Cohen to proceed.

Florida is yet to issue its own same-sex marriage license due to the pending appeals initiated by Bondi’s office, questioning the ruling that would allow gay marriage. Same-sex marriage is officially on hold until January 6 of next year as the appeal process continues.

Still, a spokeswoman for Bondi’s office said that the divorce case would also be reviewed.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com.