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Former Massachusetts senator survives gay divorce

For former Massachusetts state Senator Jarrett Barrios, things have come full circle. During his tenure as a civil servant in Massachusetts, the senator worked tirelessly to secure the rights of gay couples to marry. After Massachusetts became the nation's first state where gay marriage was legal, he wed his husband. Five years later, he opined in a poignant piece in The Boston Globe about the end of his marriage.

"Divorce plumbs impossible depths of sadness. It involves separating the dishes and the books and all the other things you acquired back when you both still felt the lightness of love," he wrote, echoing the heartbreak of other Massachusetts residents juggling alimony payments and child custody hand-offs.

Ten years have passed since same-sex marriage became legal in the state, and despite the dire predictions of those opposed, allowing gay and lesbian couples to wed has had no effect on so-called "legitimate marriage" and the divorce rate in Massachusetts. Recently, Barrios pointed out that Massachusetts has the country's lowest rate of divorce, with no discernible difference in the rate among same-sex partners and their heterosexual counterparts.

Barrios said in a recent interview before his address at the yearly meeting of a local chapter of the American Red Cross, "We came, we saw, and we conquered the myths about gay marriage [and] wrote a new chapter for equal rights in our country."

He compared the battle over gay marriage to the struggles of Blacks trying to overturn racist Jim Crow laws and women marching for the right to vote. Following Massachusetts' lead, other states have legalized same-sex marriages, while other states' bans are crumbling in the higher courts. Polls of Americans show that most lend their support to the rights of gays to marry.

Divorcing couples, no matter what their sexual preference, may find themselves confused and frustrated by the new normal of living apart. A Massachusetts family law attorney is a good source of advice and counsel when going through a divorce.

Source: telegram.com, "All's fair in love and marriage" Dianne Williamson, May. 18, 2014

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