Prohibited marriages in Georgia – Same sex marriage

In Georgia, same sex marriage is prohibited. Specifically, Georgia law states that it is "the public policy of this state to recognize the union only of man and woman. Marriages between persons of the same sex are prohibited in this state." OCGA §19-3-3.1(a). In addition, even if a same sex couple marries in a state that recognizes same sex marriage, such as New York, the marriage shall be void in Georgia. Thus, the parties will not be recognized as spouses in Georgia and will not be "entitled to the benefits of marriage," which include the ability to obtain a divorce. OCGA §19-3-3.1(b). Georgia law further states that "the courts of this state shall have no jurisdiction whatsoever under any circumstances to grant a divorce or separate maintenance with respect to such marriage or otherwise to consider or rule on any of the parties' respective rights arising as a result of or in connection with such marriage." Id. Georgia courts, therefore, will not get involved at all and, if a legal issue arises incident to the same sex relationship, it must be addressed in a state that recognizes same sex marriage, though the parties will have to overcome any jurisdictional hurdles in that state.

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