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On her wedding day, Jessica Port wore a tan and black dress to match the tan button-down shirt and patterned necktie of her spouse-to-be, Virginia Anne Cowan.
They had taken a vacation from their home in Washington D.C. to a San Francisco courthouse in 2008 to get married, since California had recently begun to allow same-sex marriages.
"We were just like every other couple, we really thought that this was it," said Port, 30, who works as a counselor at a special-education school. "We had nothing to worry about. We were just focused on marriage and future."
They had no idea that one day their marriage would fall apart, and that their divorce would lead to a radical change in the legal status of same-sex marriages in Maryland.
Same-sex couples can currently marry in six states and the District of Columbia, and there's no residency requirement to marry. That means that couples who live outside of those states can just pop in for a day to get married and then go home. There are also five states that allow civil unions.
But if a marriage should fall apart in a state that doesn't recognize the couple's legal status in the first place, that's when things get complicated.
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