'Poster Couple' for Gay Rights in California Is Divorcing

The first homosexual couple to be married in Southern California announced their plans to divorce recently, with the news coming as the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has found the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

Robin Tyler filed for divorce from Diane Olson on Jan 25, after years of challenging California's same-sex marriage ban. The pair were lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit that resulted in the state Supreme Court reversing California's ban on same-sex marriage in 2007.

The former couple visited the Beverly Hills Courthouse every year for seven years to apply for a marriage license and oppose Proposition 8, which maintained the traditional definition of marriage as a union between one man and one woman. After years of being denied, Tyler and Olson became the first lesbian couple to be married in Southern California when they exchanged vows in 2008.

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The union occured during a short window that made gay weddings possible. It was about six months later that Tyler and Olson joined in the lawsuit with 14 other couples challenging the legality of Prop 8. 

At the time, Olson used God as a reason for her desire to marry, saying that it must have been His will.

"I don't know how to describe it – I wanted this all my life," Olson told The Jewish Journal in 2008. "Every time I went to a girlfriend's wedding, and when my brother got married, it was something I always wanted for myself. It looks like God must have wanted it for me, too."

Now that the pair is separating, Tyler is fending off criticism of her divorce by saying that homosexual couples are just like anyone else.

"What is the standard to expect when you integrate equality," Tyler asked in an NBC report. "We're just like anybody else and that's all they can expect of us. We're human and we went through difficult times."

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