Mark it down: 2 p.m. tomorrow, George L. Allen Sr. Courts Building. That's when the Fifth Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments for case No. 05-09-01170-CV -- otherwise known as In the Matter of the Marriage of J.B. and H.B., otherwise known as the Dallas gay divorce case. No doubt you recall: Back in October, Judge Tena Callahan said, sure, J.B. and H.B. -- who were married in Massachusetts in '06 before separating two years later -- could get a divorce. To which Attorney General Greg Abbott said, Holdonrightthere before filing the appeal that sparked tomorrow's hearing and a Daily Show segment.
And while the Dallas case works its way to the Supreme Court, more than likely, Abbott's intervening in another gay-divorce case down in Austin, where Angelique Naylor and Sabina Daly say they filed for divorce after being inspired by J.B. and H.B. Dallas attorney Pete Schulte, who's repping J.B., tells Newsweek he's baffled by the AG's actions: "If the attorney general is so against gay marriage, why is he trying to keep these guys married?"
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Schulte tells the Dallas Voice that during tomorrow's hearing, the court will also hear five minutes' worth of anti-gay-marriage material from either state Rep. Warren Chisum or Texas Commissioner of Agriculture Todd Staples -- who had Plano's Kelly Shackelford file this amicus brief on their behalf only last week. Why them? Because it was Staples and Chisum who, in '03, co-wrote the Senate bill that led to the state's ban on same-sex marriage. As such, says the brief, the twosome have "a particular interest in seeing that an activist judge in not permitted to invalidate the laws they have enacted." In an interview with the Associated Press today, Shackleford says the case is nothing more than "a backdoor run at establishing same-sex so-called marriage against the people's vote."