Woman seeking same-sex divorce: 'I want to recognized for who I - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Woman seeking same-sex divorce: 'I want to be recognized for who I am'

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As Tennessee does not recognize same-sex unions there is no state provision to grant Jones and her wife a divorce. As Tennessee does not recognize same-sex unions there is no state provision to grant Jones and her wife a divorce.
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(WMC-TV) - A same-sex couple in Shelby County wants to legally part ways in a state where same-sex marriage is not recognized.

The Memphis couple married in New Hampshire three years ago, but it did not work out.

"I want a divorce, but I also want to be recognized for who I am," said Wendy Jones.

As Tennessee does not recognize same-sex unions there is no state provision to grant Jones and her wife a divorce.

Jones' attorney, Linley Richter, hopes to change that.

"We're simply asking for a divorce, and that's all we're asking for," said Richter.

Richter filed a divorce complaint in Shelby County Chancery court; it is the first same-sex divorce case filed in the state of Tennessee.

Before the state could grant the divorce it would have to recognize the valid marriage, but that could be done without legalizing same-sex marriage.

"So we're trying to change that one portion of the constitution of the state of Tennessee," said Richter.

It would be a landmark decision. One that may have to go all the way to the state Supreme Court, which could take years. Wendy Jones says she will wait.

"I feel no matter where we are we are still human beings," said Jones.

Jones could get a divorce in the state where she was married, but New Hampshire residency law says she would have to live there for a year to grant her a divorce. She says that is not an option.

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