New legal conundrum: When same-sex spouses want to split

When Jessica Port showed up in court Friday to pursue a divorce, she first stopped to consult with her lawyer. Then she crossed the room to hug her ex, chatting happily until it was time to be seated.

The electronic board outside the courtroom identified the case as “No. 69, Jessica Port v. Virginia Anne Cowan.” That title is misleading. Port and Cowan are on the same side of this case: They both want to get divorced. But a Prince George’s County judge said they could not, reasoning that because same-sex marriage is not legal in the state, neither is same-sex divorce.

Now the highest court in Maryland will decide whether he was right, and whether the women will be required to maintain a bond they’ve tried for almost two years to sever.