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One of two plaintiffs in a groundbreaking Texas gay divorce case told Good Morning America Weekend
that the legal battle to end his marriage is personal, and not a
statement on behalf of the broader struggle for marriage equality.
On Thursday, Dallas state district judge Tena Callahan ruled that Jeffrey and Henry Buck, who married three years ago in Massachusetts, could divorce in Texas. The judge also ruled that the Texas ban on same-sex marriage is unconstitutional.
Jeffrey, who prefers to be identified in the press as "JB," spoke with GMA Weekend host Billy Weir on Saturday, accompanied by his lawyer Peter Schulte.
Describing his emotional state as "relief, sadness, and overwhelmed," JB rejected Weir's suggestion that the divorce was motivated by a desire to influence ongoing same-sex marriage litigation in states and before the Supreme Court.
"From the beginning, I have said this is not a test case. I'm not the poster child," said JB, who betrayed a sense of irritation with LGBT legal advocates who, he implied, want to capitalize on his case.
"Some of the greatest negative feedback that I've gotten has been from the gay and lesbian community, the legal community in the gay and lesbian community specifically," he said.
"So you know what? You can't just jump on when you want to and claim your stake," said JB.
Schulte expressed his concern that political calculations about marriage equality could prevent his client from successfully obtaining his divorce. Texas state attorney general Greg Abbott said he would appeal the ruling on the verge of a 2010 election year destined to be outsized, even by Texas standards.
"This is not about gay marriage," said Schulte. "This is about gay divorce."