Sunday, September 25, 2011

Melissa Etheridge Denies that her Marriage to Tammy Lynn Michaels was a "Real Marriage"

Singer Melissa Etheridge and actress Tammy Lynn Michaels were together for a pretty long time.  They had a commitment ceremony back in 2003 and they raised children together.  They did not legally marry during that narrow six month period when marriage equality existed in California due to concerns over the Proposition 8 ballot initiative and the uncertainty that it would cause for them if it passed (which obviously it eventually did in November 2008):
Etheridge, 47, said last October (2008) that she and actress Tammy Lynn Michaels planned to marry to legalize a ceremony they had in 2003. But they never went through with the wedding in part because of the threat that it could be banned again, Etheridge told Reuters. "I wanted to wait until I knew that when I step into City Hall and I'm there with my wife and that clerk signs that piece of paper, I want to know that it's free and clear," she said... "My wife and I consider ourselves to be married, we would like that to be recognized some day civically," Etheridge said in a phone interview. "What if this was the 1960s and it was like, 'OK these interracial marriages can be married but these can't.' You can't put this back in the bottle," said Etheridge.
Turns out that Etheridge has a different view towards the gay marriage bottle these days.  TMZ reported on Friday that Etheridge and her legal team are denying that her marriage to Michaels was ever a "real" marriage.  It was more like an extended sleep-over party or maybe a casual roommate situation:
TMZ has obtained legal docs, which draw the battle lines in the break-up of their 9-year relationship that produced twins. According to the docs, Melissa claims she's at loggerheads with Tammy over the following issues:

-- Child custody
-- Visitation
-- Child support
-- Spousal support
-- Division of property
-- Attorney's fees

But wait ... there's more ... Melissa and Tammy are even arguing over whether they were actually married. Tammy says they were (which would entitle her to all sorts of financial goodies) while Melissa says their vows were nothing more than a non-binding commitment ceremony.
I hate winner-takes-all divorce situations.  I have had co-workers go through these.  I have the friend of a co-worker going through one of these right now.  They are awful and they destroy everyone involved -- especially the children in these families.  It disgusts me that Etheridge and Michaels are exposing themselves and their kids to this type of break-up.

What disgusts me possibly even more is that Etheridge is using homophobic legal arguments to avoid spousal support, child custody, and child support.  I can't believe that she is arguing that her family never existed.  Would she have thought that five years ago?  How about back in 2003 when she was planning her commitment ceremony with Michaels?  Did that mean nothing?  Does she understand what she is indirectly telling their kids about their mothers' relationship and their family when she says that it was just some "non-binding" relationship?

In my mind, Melissa Etheridge is no better than that jurisdiction-shoppping and country-hopping ex-lesbian, Lisa Miller.  Trust me, that's no compliment.

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