Woman Attempts to Make Same-Sex Marriage legal...by Filing for Divorce

I've got to admit, this is a pretty novel approach. A lesbian is attempting to make same-sex marriage legal in South Carolina by filing for divorce from her ex.

WYFF4 reports:
Cathy Swicegood, of Mauldin, is seeking a divorce from her female partner of 13 years. But because Swicegood was never legally married, she has no legal protections under South Carolina law.

"It's just unbelievable that in a country as wonderful as ours, you can be treated this way," Swicegood told WYFF News 4's Tim Waller.

But Swicegood's attorney, John Reckenbeil, believes his client does qualify for protections under South Carolina's common law statute. According to their lawsuit, Swicegood and her partner "exchanged and wore wedding rings," "owned property together" and were "in each other's wills," which Reckenbeil believes makes them as good as married.

"Common law marriage in South Carolina is two individuals that cohabitate, live together. They hold themselves out to the public in general as spouse and spouse," Reckenbeil said.

Reckenbeil said not only was Swicegood thrown out of the home she resided in for 13 years, she was kicked off the "supporting domestic partners" company's group health insurance with no legal remedy. He said that would not have been the case for a divorcing heterosexual couple, whose health coverage would be maintained by law.

"We are seeking the courts to issue an order that says both South Carolina laws that ban same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, not only under the South Carolina constitution, but more importantly under the United States constitution," he said.

Reckenbeil expects the family court to throw out his client's "divorce" request, because of the state's ban on same sex marriage. If that happens, he said he plans to file a lawsuit in federal court, challenging the state's ban.

*subhead*Same-sex divorce.*subhead*


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  2. More than a little confused?
    Lemme' ask, did you seek a permission slip from the state when you got your hook up? So now your
    asking for a permission slip to leave each other?
    Like who the heck cares?
    What about the all the screeching for state to stay out of your lives and out of your bedroom?

  3. It includes also by necessity, any marriage which never existed in the first place (void ab initio) for example where consent of either or both parties was lacking, etc. Marriage, by definition, has criteria that must be satisfied for it to come into existence; the absence of one or more of these criteria mean that the marriage did not come into existence. In some cases, there may be no fault on the part of the parties to the marriage. However, some marriages have a fault, which is such that the marriage is only voidable, rather than necessarily void - this is where the fault or lack in the marriage can be made up for by the parties' intention to remain in the marriage.

  4. There must be a fault in the marriage itself - which renders it void, or voidable.

  5. The indissolubility of marriage is dogmatic, and an objective truth of the natural law.

  6. This is a grave scandal for others, especially the young, in a parish.

  7. We are also called to avoid occasions of sin - in order that we can reasonably mean that we "will not sin again" and "amend my life". Otherwise, confession is not siincere, hence invalid.

  8. It is those who go against the deposit of Faith that go into schism, not those who stay true to it.

  9. What you complain about is the apostasy or heresy so widespread and at high levels in the Church, not the Faith itself, which has objective, unchangeable content. It is a trial to be abandoned by so many evil bishops and priests but we must not abandon the Faith. We are liable to damnation if we knowingly and with full consent renounce the Faith. There is no salvation outside the Church (of which Christ is the Head).

  10. According to Fathers Trigilio and Brighenti in their book which has a Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, "Catholicism for Dummies 2nd Edition" on page 82 - Pope Pontian resigned in 235 AD, Pope St. Peter Celestine V resigned to go back to monastic life in 1294 AD, and Pope Gregory XII resigned in 1415 AD.
    This book was copyrighted in 2012 prior to the resignation of Pope Benedict.

    Resignation of Pope Benedict:

  11. Good question on how each of us personally would react if those continuing to commit adultery on a regular basis could receive Holy Communion.
    I would stay close to Jesus word's in a Catholic Bible.
    (I like the Revised Standard Version - Catholic Edition - large print);
    the "Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition" # 1646 - 1651.

    Jesus was very clear in his teaching against divorce from a valid marriage with remarriage. Mk 10:6-12; and Mt 19:9.
    However He also said whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in Heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in Heaven.
    Mt 18:18-20.

    If the Magisterium (- in which the Pope must agree) changed something major in the 'Apostolic Constitution' which is the way the CCC was promulgated, I would not leave the Church, would be extremely disappointed, and probably would revert to prayer rather than public criticism. Public criticism AFTER the FACT does no good but invites schism.
    Until a major change is promulgated, writing to our Diocese Bishop, the US Papal Nuncio, and the Pope is important.
    Those who have blog sites can encourage contacting Church leaders and provide contact information.

  12. This is true.
    That is why we all need to encourage all the literate to read a Catholic Bible, and the "Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition".
    Most Catholics do not know their Faith.

  13. The key is for each of us to contact our Diocese Bishop, the US Papal Nuncio, AND the Pope PRIOR to any Magisterial changes being made.

    Respectfully make your position known, and use Church documentation (Bible, CCC, Code of Canon Law, GIRM, or whatever) as appropriate.

    Once the Magisterium (which must include the Pope) has formally promulgated a change it is too late, and would cause schism.

    In Code of Canon Law under "OBLIGATIONS and RIGHTS of ALL the CHRISTIAN FAITHFUL" - "212 §3. According to the knowledge, competence, and prestige which they possess, they have the right and even at times the duty to manifest to the sacred pastors their opinion on matters which pertain to the good of the Church
    and to make their opinion known to the rest of the Christian faithful, without prejudice to the integrity of faith and morals, with reverence toward their pastors, and attentive to common advantage and the dignity of persons.

  14. Poor, unhappy, lifeless women. To paraphrase C. S. Lewis, in a world of light and beauty and color and mountains and sunrises and flowers and children and friends and merriment and trees, all they can find to focus on is their own tiny, dark self-obsession.

  15. the real crux of the matter is that all faithful Catholics will need to stay strong in the coming months and years, in spite of everything. The fact is that the Papacy as of today is hostage of a diabolic cabal operating out of the Vatican.
    the only thing restraining them is the fear of reaction from the pews (and of course prayers of the faithful who love our Lord Jesus)

  16. "And the gates of hell shall not prevail." How is this believing that God can't bring His Purposes out of our messes? God is in control and He Wins. I read the end of the Book.

  17. They were never legally married. But if they can prove that they played make believe, that's the same thing. Because reality, after all, is just an individual construct.

  18. If a state does not recognize gay marriage surely they can't recognize gay divorce. And the people involved should be aware of that.

  19. I can see your point, but I don't think that way of defining traditionalist is really useful, far too much of a "no true Scotsman" argument.

    In the case of SSPV, they would say that they are in union with the See of Rome, but the See is actually empty because the man who claims to occupy it is a heretic. As to their "traditional-sounding" elements, they would make the claim that they are in fact traditional and that other interpretations and forms of catechesis are modernist deviations.

    A significant (though certainly not a majority) portion of the movement pursuing traditional Catholic praxis falls into heterodox and even heretical theology and ecclesiology. Considering how very difficult it often is to differentiate them from tradition-loving orthodox Catholics, I don't think that a definition that requires a differentiation is altogether useful.

    Though I do agree with what is at the heart of the argument: no true traditionalist would go into schism.

  20. Of course it is. But my question still remains, why even bring up the topic of schism in a piece about a hypothetical response to a speculated course of action that actually does not change the objective truth of marriage even if it might obscure it?

  21. I'm not. It goes with another: "With the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

    If we would not want our private sins to be judged by outside appearance and incomplete knowledge of the details of our situation, then we should not do it to others.

    For those who "remarry" without an annulment, the sin is adultery against their actual spouse. So, we on the outside would need to know a lot of very private information about the state of their marriage and their sex life (and it must be very current, since brother-sister arrangements do exist even if they are not common) before we can pass judgement.

    We don't have to compromise one bit on the gravity of sin that most civilly "remarried" Catholics are committing in order to say, "I don't know for sure this applies to this specific couple, so I will not make myself their judge."

  22. Gossip and calumny are also a scandal.

    I'm not saying there isn't a serious problem. There is a crisis of marriage in our culture that extends to the Church. Those who approach Communion unworthily put their own souls in danger and risk leading others into sin.

    But I am saying that unless we know for certain, unless we are privy to private details or they have unambiguously made their private sins public, we should not assume that others are sinning based on outward appearances and incomplete knowledge.

  23. am sorry to say it but Rome is going down like Jerusalem did in 70 AD, unless the present Roman Curia repents of its plans to further liberalize church teachings on sexual morality, particularly, teachings concerning homosexuality.

  24. Evil seeks always to destroy the good - hence the attack on the fundamental goods of marriage and the family based on it, moral institutions for the good of the person and the common good in accordance with God's plan for us.

  25. Everyone here who is more Catholic than the pope, raise your hands (mine is down).

  26. Same thing happened in Maryland two years ago: http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/18/us/maryland-same-sex-couple/index.html.

    It's the right side of history, you know.

  27. Oh, boo hoo. They have been living a mirage. That's as close as they can get to marriage.

  28. A man can never have a husband and a woman can never have a wife. Marriage is between one husband and one wife. A person cannot lie in a court of law. It is called perjury. A woman who claims her partner is a wife is a liar. If the partner is not a wife, there is no legal precedent for divorcing a partner, if they were not husband and wife.

  29. This truth does not mean the Church won't be destroyed in many places and billions of souls lost. We have been given free will so that we can choose to do good and fight evil. Our duty remains.

  30. It would render it subjective and arbitrary, rather than objective and universal. It's a reality - a man and woman were either married or were not. It's not an arbitrary matter. Otherwise, marriage would be rendered meaningless, stripped of all objective truth, rational and spiritual.

  31. Marriage and cohabitation are public knowledge. They are recognised and the latter even given official status these days by many state agencies. Apparent cohabitation is presumptive of fornication. When Canon 915 refers to obstinate manifest and grave sin, it includes cohabitation, even though presumably the couple involved does not explicitly announce to the parish that they engage in sexual relations. It's a matter of reason. Scandal is involved in public sin, and this is compounded by the public sacrilege of Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament.

  32. The saints and many good people have certainly been "more Catholic" than some of the Popes. Being a pope does not necessarily mean one is a good Catholic or a good person (sadly).

  33. There's one escape clause, but I'd rather not have to consider that possibility. It'd be 1378 all over again.

  34. What's wrong with reacting? That's what living things do, isn't it?

  35. "Marriage and cohabitation are public knowledge."

    Not always. Can you really say that the marital and annulment status of every couple in the parish is public knowledge? There are certainly some couples where it is, but most it is not.

    My only point here is that we should not condemn couples for a sin unless we actually know that they are committing it, and that we should be careful about conclusions based on what "everybody knows" or "reasonable conclusions." It's not really a subversive idea.

  36. The alleged marriage is called a "putative" marriage--that is, an attempt at marriage which was invalid, but which seemed real and valid to all concerned parties.

  37. As an aside: a schism is usually underpinned by a doctrinal difference, true... but it need not be. A schism, in this (Catholic) case, is defined as a refusal to submit to the authority and jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff. Theoretically, a bishop could go into schism not out of a rejection of doctrine, but because he simply didn't like the pope in question.

  38. With all due respect, wineinthewater, you're not using that quotation properly. We are certainly called not to judge the subjective state of someone else's soul (i.e. how culpable they are for any given wrongdoing)--but we *MUST* just ACTIONS... or else it would make nonsense out of Scriptures such as "When you see your brother sinning, tell him his fault between the two of you... [Matthew 18:15]", or "let him know that whoever brings back a sinner from the error of his way will save his soul from death and will cover a multitude of sins" [James 5:20]. "Judge not [etc.]" was never meant to be a fig leaf to provide cover for sinners to keep sinning, or for us to abandon our absolute DUTY to be our brother's keeper and "admonish the sinner" (a spiritual work of mercy).

  39. But that's not how I'm using it. Catholics who civilly divorce and remarry are committing serial adultery. And this is a significant problem in the Church.

    All I am saying is, if you don't know *for a fact* that a couple is guilty of this sin, don't judge them for it. If someone has decided to make their private sin public, that is one thing. But that is very different from judgment grounded in gossip or even "reasonable conclusion." A couple who was civilly divorced from their spouses and civilly remarried, who had children, and who later decided to return to their faith and are struggling to live as brother ans sister but who doesn't feel like justifying their private lives in the public sphere doesn't need the added burden of their parish judging them.

    We can speak quite clearly on the sin of civil remarriage. We can rebuke our brothers and sisters who commit that sin and flaunt it in the public sphere. But when we don't know, for a fact - and knowing for a fact requires some pretty intimate knowledge - that a couple is actually guilty of that sin, we should keep our mouths shut. We should judge not lest we be judged.

  40. CCC: "1650 Today there are numerous Catholics in many countries who have recourse to civil divorce and contract new civil unions.
    In fidelity to the words of Jesus Christ - "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery" the Church maintains that a new union cannot be recognized as valid, if the first marriage was.
    If the divorced are remarried civilly, they find themselves in a situation that objectively contravenes God's law. Consequently, they cannot receive Eucharistic communion as long as this situation persists. For the same reason, they cannot exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities.
    Reconciliation through the sacrament of Penance can be granted only to those who have repented for having violated the sign of the covenant and of fidelity to Christ, and who are committed to living in COMPLETE CONTINENCE".
    Those divorced and remarried Catholics can return to the Sacraments when they decide to live in "complete continence", living as brother and sister..
    Priests, Nuns, homosexuals, and all single persons are expected to live in complete continence, so this is not too much to require.
    Mortal sin comes into effect when a validly married person has a sexual relationship with someone other than his or her valid spouse. One can not tell God he is sorry for his sin in Confession with the purposeful intention of committing the same sin over and over.

  41. My understanding of the word 'react' is that by it's very nature does not include conscious decision making. What you describe is a conscious response. Be it positive or negative it seems like a response to me.

  42. I don't understand what you are saying, and I think it is because you are not saying it.

    There is doctrinal truth, and there is disciplinary praxis, and the Church cannot err on the former unless Jesus is not God, and the Church can screw up, royally, on the latter, and has done so before.

    So what you're asking, I think is: Supposing that the Church does, again, screw up royally in a matter of disciplinary praxis, what ought we to do?

    I should think the answer is obvious: We should loudly, but with winsome words, beg the Church to restore sound praxis while joyfully living the faith with far holier lives than those of the bishops supporting the bad praxis.

    But I don't understand this "in case of schism, break glass" phrasing. Who would schism, in this situation?

    The Magisterium consisting of those bishops in Apostolic Succession who are in communion with the Bishop of Rome cannot err in matters of doctrinal truth. If you leave the Church for a schismatic sect over matters of disciplinary praxis, you only wind up in a sect which CAN err in matters of doctrinal truth...and which will eventually screw up matters of praxis, too, though doubtless in a fashion opposite to that which prompted the schism.

    Properly, schism is an act which should only be left to the theological liberals; conservatives should never be found doing it: It doesn't make any sense because it fails to conserve the one thing that makes Jesus' Church superior to a schismatic sect containing validly ordained bishops.

    Now, in the instance you're hypothesizing -- where the Church formally teaches orthodox dogma but permits or even encourages disciplinary praxis which better matches a heretical doctrine -- obviously the liberals won't schism because, hey, the Church is finally swinging their way (they think).

    But, you see, it actually isn't. Sure, the praxis is. But in Jesus' Church, really HORRIFYINGLY BAD praxis never actually leads to institutional reversals of dogma.

    I've no doubt that, if the Lord tarries, then sometime in the next ten thousand years there'll be bishops tolerating "womynpriests" offering a pseudo-Mass and conducting gay "marriage" ceremonies in their diocese. (I wouldn't be overly surprised if it happened in the next ten thousand days.)

    BUT, the fly in the ointment, the monkey in the wrench, will be that despite all that bad praxis, the Church will never actually SAY that that's all okay. No, not in ten thousand years; no, not in a million years. God doesn't prevent the Church from violating the Word Of God; but He DOES prevent the Church from **contradicting** the Word of God, ever. The Magisterium, in matters of faith and morals, speaks infallibly, full stop.

    And, y'know, the pagans are okay with cowing a man into playing along with pagan deeds for a while...but eventually they always come around to insisting that he make a profession of pagan belief. (Just ask that cat Brendan Eich, who could have saved his job by recanting his earlier opposition to Proposition 8 and making an incense offering to -- sorry, I mean, a monetary donation to --


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