Photograph by Valerie Macon/AFP/Getty Images.
One of the same-sex couples who challenged California's Prop 8 in court filed for divorce late last month, only weeks before a federal court deemed the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.
Robin Tyler filed for a divorce from long-time partner Diane Olson on Jan. 25, but the couple's story has drawn headlines on the heels of Tuesday's decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. "We're human and we went through difficult times," Tyler told NBC News, adding that the decision to divorce makes her relationship no different than those between a man and a woman that fail.
"What is the standard to expect when you integrate equality?" she said. "We're just like anybody else and that's all they can expect of us."
The pair had been together for 18 years and were married at the Beverly Hills Courthouse in June 2008, during the short period that gay couples could legally wed. Six months later, they were among the 14 couples to file a lawsuit against Prop 8, which defined marriage as between a man and woman.
"For a bunch of people to tell me who I can love, who I can marry, who I can say this is my person, this is who I choose to spend the rest of my life with, it’s mindboggling to me that a few religious people can vote for our equal rights," Olson said then.
While the timing is slightly awkward given Tuesday's Prop 8 ruling, census data shows that gay marriages are actually less likely to end in divorce than straight unions. U.S. News reported this past summer that the numbers also show that states where gay marriage is legal have an overall lower divorce rate in both same-sex and different-sex unions, percentages that are also tied to the education levels in the corresponding states.