Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Skype Marriage Ceremony Invalid

A Texas couple's plans to use Skype to avoid Texas' same-sex marriage ban has proved unsuccessful:

A homosexual couple from Texas in the US thought they made history earlier this year by becoming the first gay couple to tie the knot online via the video communication site Skype.

However following a superior court investigation, the marriage of Dante and Mark Walkup has been declared invalid as they were not physically present where the ceremony was conducted.

The couple wanted to side-step the state law in Texas which doesn’t allow same sex couples to be legally joined together by having their ceremony in Texas, conducted by a registrar based in Washington DC were gay unions were legalised this year.

The Walkups wanted to get married in their home state of Texas surrounded by their family and friends, but because of the law, this wasn’t possible. When they came across the idea of a wedding conducted via a Skype by a registrar in a state which did recognise same sex unions, they thought they’d found a solution to their dilemma.

After visiting Washington DC and seeking expert advice, the couple were told it was possible to conduct a legal ceremony this way. The wedding went ahead and Mark and Dante hit the headlines for their landmark e-wedding.

Now that dream has been shattered after receiving an official letter from the Supreme Court advising them that their marriage is null and void. The court advises the couple to travel to Washington in person and have another ceremony in order to make their union official.

Read more here.


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