Melissa and Tammy Etheridge to Divorce

  • The service having id "propeller" is missing, reactivate its module or save again the list of services.
  • The service having id "buzz" is missing, reactivate its module or save again the list of services.
Melissa and Tammy Etheridge to Divorce

A representantive for Melissa and Tammy Etheridge has announced that the couple has separated. Rumors of the relationship being on the rocks had been reported as early back as February by folks like Perez Hilton, and People Magazine broke the official story this morning.

The official statement from their rep read, "Melissa and Tammy Etheridge are saddened to announce that they are now separated.The couple added, "We ask for consideration and respect for our family as we go through this difficult period." Tammy gave birth to twins Miller and Johnnie Rose in 2006, two years after Melissa was diagnosed with cancer. Melissa also has two older children, Bailey, 13, and Becket, 11, with former partner Julie Cypher.


Comments [29]

Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture

Hey Mac

*dammit, was reply to Mac below*


minniesota's picture

Sorry to hear that

I am sorry to hear about their separation and I am sure this is a very sad time for the two of them and their children.


A few numbers about the divorce rate have been mentioned in a couple of comments below. I have a couple of links that may be helpful:

1. Some insight into the uncertainty about the divorce rate from an 2005 article in the NYTimes:

2. Provisional data from the CDC about births, marriage, divorces and deaths: (read the technical notes about the data). Includes a table for Provisional number of marriages: Each state and Puerto Rico, June 2007 and 2008, and cumulative figures, 2006-2008:

Citation: Tejada-Vera B, Sutton PD. Births, marriages, divorces, and deaths: Provisional data for June 2008. National vital statistics reports; vol 57, no 11. Hyattsville, MD: National Center for Health Statistics. 2009.

Still searching for the right brainy quote.

MacLass_19's picture


*re-posted to Olivia below*


Joanne Robertson's picture



Joanne Robertson's picture


I read Tammy's blog and I got that vibe from a few of her postings Sad

I think we shouldn't underestimate the stress and sleep deprivation of raising twins.  There's a loss of MOJO that I've seen happen all too often with motherhood.  Yes it's a choice & a blessing, but there is also a darkside.
Tammy seems really 'hands-on', while Melissa seemed to be described as having a more traditionally 'husband' role (Granted I don't know these people, so that was just my perception).  Add to that, a partner who basically works on the road and dreaded age difference issues *sigh*.
Relationships are hard enough without the extra pressure of always having to appear to be the hunky dory happy gay couple ... As our relationships are not as automatically accepted, when straights do give their 'approval' (not that we need it), they don't want to see or hear that there is trouble in paradise.

SMBrown's picture

I don't know if I can read

I don't know if I can read her blog again--I stumbled upon it a couple years ago and read enough to decide she was dumb as a doorknob.  Sorry to be so harsh, but it was PAINFUL reading that tripe.  I AM sad for her (and Melissa), though--breaking up is hard to do...

Grace Moon's picture

oh dear

your comment just made me go read her blog!


tweet tweet @gracemoon

SMBrown's picture

Oy vey--do you rubberneck

Oy vey--do you rubberneck too?

MacLass_19's picture

You're right Joanne

She sounds very sad....

MacLass_19's picture


*re-posted below Tae*

MacLass_19's picture

That pretty much sucks - it's the kids who'll suffer

I'll say to Melissa, the same thing I would to any hetero who can't get it right.... quit having kids if you're not going to be committed enough to work through your fucking marriage issues. Children deserve better than to have fucked up parents that can't get their shit together.

Of course, that's just my opinion.


Not2Taem's picture

Then again,

staying together for the sake of the kids can be pretty hefty disaster as well. That's my experience.

SMBrown's picture

Yes, as someone whose parents

Yes, as someone whose parents did stay together for the sake of the kids, I wouldn't recommend it...

MacLass_19's picture

We all have our own experiences,

and I certainly do respect what you're saying Tae. All too often, hetero marriage's are entered into to please others; family, friends, society, and of course to do the right thing culturally. I understand that. Mistakes happen. Hopefully, a couple will realize their mistake before children become a part of the equation. And if not, a peaceful resolution is always in the best interest of the children.

It's an odd time for same sex marriage. We're under a microscope by those who want to prove that we're somehow inferior, and therefore not worthy of the privilege and respect bestowed upon hetero married couples. It's certainly no secret that divorce among opposite sex couples is well over 50%, and heteros have a million excuses for that - hah, we're one of their excuses. You know, the whole sanctity of marriage thing...

I know it appears to be an unfair burden to place on celebrity same sex married couples, but along with their public declaration of marriage, comes the responsibility to set an example. I'm sure that this could be compared to may 'firsts' in our society, when the burden to succeed can become an immense challenge. But, those taking the first steps should understand that.

The whole fucking world is watching this issue.... the question of marriage equality should be resolved before the courts have to start dealing with the question of, divorce equality.

IMO, whether celebrities like it or not, when they choose to take their marriages before the court of public opinion, they are going to be held to a different standard. As in so many other areas, they may even set the standard. 

WE can't afford to take the privilege of marriage for granted, as hetero couples can - and do. That's an unfortunate reality in the world that we live in... 


SMBrown's picture

This is not your grandfather's marriage

My views on the institution of marriage have shifted, or perhaps been confirmed, since reading Elizabeth Gilbert's Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage.   The central point is this:

Everywhere, in every single society, all across the world, all across time, whenever a conservative culture of arranged marriage is replaced by an expressive culture of people choosing their own partners based on love, divorce rates will immediately begin to skyrocket...If you honestly want to have a society in which people choose their own partners on the basis of personal affection, then you must prepare yourself for the inevitable.  There will be broken hearts;  there will be broken lives.

I no longer begrudge heteros that 50% divorce rate because when marriage is based on something as fickle/esoteric as love, it stands to reason that the love can also die.  And is it so awful if it does?  Does that make it a 'mistake'?  Would we rather live in a world in which we base our partnership choices on things like economic needs or community concerns?  It's time we stop viewing marriage through Victorian glasses, and stop having centuries-old expectations of what marriage is or should be, when it has evolved into something very different. 

And, most importantly, we need to have an honest dialogue about how marriage has changed in order to adapt our attitudes about child-rearing to the new paradigm.

MacLass_19's picture


Melissa and Tammy's marriage, is not my Grandfather's marriage. They're two lesbians. They chose to marry. They chose to make it public. They chose to bring children into the world, and they chose to make that public. 

When a same sex couple brings a child into the world - it is no accident. Condoms don't break, it didn't happen in 'the heat of passion', and no one forgets to take their 'pill'. It is a well thought out, researched, planned for, arranged, event. It is discussed, donors are researched, or surrogates are interviewed. It is both, an emotionally draining experience, and a blessed one ..... I know this, personally. 

Traditionally Mystics, marriage was not based on - as you call it "something as fickle/escoteric as love". It was actually [as you mentioned] for economic reasons, and pro-create. Love was not, originally, a factor in most 'marriages'. As you know, not too long ago, women were simply chattel. We were first owned by our families, then owned by our husbands - not much different than the goat that a farmer may own [in parts of the globe, this is still a woman's worth]. We were a  burden on our birth family. Our usefulness was relegated to giving birth to, and caring for, the children of the man who was willing to take us for a hefty dowery.....our worth, as a marriage partner, was equal to the children we could bear. Love, if it ever came, was incidental.

Mystics, my concern is that same sex marriage have a chance to evolve into a well respected domain for those who chose to enter into it. Marriages, whereby we can grow our own traditions - not to merely imitate what has become a traditional hetero marriage. IMO, regardless of how same sex marriage evolves, if partners aren't willing to commit to working through the difficult times, then marriage may not be the right route for that couple in the first place. Maybe we should learn from our predecessors mistakes, so we can build a better tradition for ourselves.

Up to this point, our detractors have been the religious zealots, haters, and those who are insecure about their own marriages [ i.e. the entire sanctity of hetero marriage smoke screen]. We haven't given them any ammunition to use against us....We've been demanding our right to marry, to have our relationships count - to be respected. It's unfortunate, but, those who are choosing to make their declarations public at this point in time, will be held to a different standard than same sex couples in the coming decades...

My hope is that dragging this issue before the public, will not distract from the seriousness of same sex marriage equality. Unfortunately, I'm already hearing jokes about this. And with the joking, inevitably that tired old question about whether we can provide a stable environment to raise children will rear it's ugly head. After all is said and done, that's what the hetero haters talk about the most - the children.

Of course this is only my opinion.


*I appreciate your thoughtful comment Mystics... and yes, I do believe that same sex marriage [given the opportunity] will evolve, and even flourish.


Not2Taem's picture

Conflicting Points

I'm not sure I understand. In your initial response you seemed expressed concern for the children, with the idea being that a divorce would be detrimental to them. When I commented back on that, the emphasis shifted to a responsibility to represent the lesbian community in a way that will enhance the opinion and acceptance of heterosexuals. This seems to indicate a belief the the needs of the L community outweigh those of the family members involved. Are you saying that lesbians should not get divorced if their relationship has become damaging to members of their families, because it would give heterosexuals something to talk about? To me, that seems like more piling on of second class status.

MacLass_19's picture

Not really

It's interesting Tae.... all of the dialogue that I'm hearing from friends is running the gamut from; deep political implications, concern for the children, empathy for Melissa and Tammy, to the reinforcing effects that this may have on the mindset of those who are determined to deny us - same sex marriage equality. I guess todays discussions on TV, online, news papers, news reports, etc. has brought same sex marriage back to the table. I prefer a more positive image, but at least people are talking.

Honestly. I'm confused right now. I suppose at this point, after talking about this all daylong with many of my friends, I feel most everything I've stated - and a plethora of other opinions, could be applicable. 


SMBrown's picture

My thoughts on this have run

My thoughts on this have run the gamut too.  But at the end of the day this is about Tammy and Melissa, and only them--nobody's relationship should be held up as an exemplar of anything.  And the folks that hate us will always find a reason to...

MacLass_19's picture

Mystics - In my heart, I agree...

Sometime, I hope to learn to separate politics from the subject of same sex marriage equality.

Right now, that's very difficult for me because it feels so incredibly political... 

Not2Taem's picture


Truely a family matter.

SMBrown's picture

Thanks for the thoughtful

Thanks for the thoughtful reply.  I'm a bit on the run now and need time to digest it, especially since my thoughts on what relationships/marriages are or should be are evolving as we speak!

As for those 'jokes' you're hearing--I'm pretty sure they reveal more about the source than the subject...


Robin Rigby's picture

I don't think it's a question

I don't think it's a question of experience.  I am a child of divorce and as hard as parts of that may have been, having your parents stay together when all they do is fight (in my case, with violent consequences) is not healthy for a child.  Period.  Not really a matter of opinion.  I know the lesbian MO is to stay together long past the relationship's expiration date but that isn't healthy or helpful for anyone involved, kids or parents. 

MacLass_19's picture

I totally understand your position Robin

You're right. Violence should never be tolerated... In a situation such as yours, separation seems like the only way to emotionally protect the children. 

I'm sorry you had to experience that...

Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture


I heard on the radio (one morning last year) that it's actually 80% of US marriages end in divorce. That percentage surprised me. Who knows, each statistic is different, but still the number is high either way.

It's not much of a percentage to be proud of--in reference to sanctity. I personally don't think the statistic will be much better when gays to get the right to legally marry.

Times have changed and people get bored easily--just look at how many phones, cars and computers are put out in a year. Why? People get bored and want something new, bigger, better, prettier, etc...Unfortunately, it seems to have spilled over to our relationships/connections.

It's really discouraging and exhausting. It's like our society's in a rat race with no finish line...Just keeps running and running until there's no fuel left. 


MacLass_19's picture

Hi Olivia! :)

I certainly hope that people don't walk out on a commitment because of boredom, but you may be right. Isn't that a sad commentary on the journey that so many have chosen to take...

Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture

Hey Mac

Yeah, boredom is one of the reasons people walk out of relationships. I think if the one or the other (or both) fail to try to engage or stimulate the relationship then...somethings not working.

I believe in love--but I've lost faith in relationships and just don't get in them. 

Hope you're well--:)

MacLass_19's picture

Olivia, I love that pic of you & your baby boy :)

Do you think sometimes it can be a self fulfilling prophecy? I mean, if we fear entering into a relationship believing that it might fail - maybe we won't open ourselves up, and allow our emotions to be vulnerable. From my experience, without that naked, raw, vulnerability..... a relationship doesn't have a chance to grow. And, the trust that's so imperative for a successful relationship, is never cultivated.

I don't know, maybe I'm just babbling.  I do that a lot...   Wink


Olivia Mistelle Maxell's picture


Thank you--Levi makes any picture look good! We spent 30 minutes trying to get that one right. He's smiling so big because we kept having to run back and forth to catch the timer. Plus we were blind from the million previous flashes and it resulted in me hitting my thigh on the corner of the table rushing back to the chair. He thinks it's really funny when momma hurts herself--:) I was trying to smile for the picture and not vomit from the pain!

I hate the idea of self-fulfilling prophecies! It really messes with my OCD...ha.

Yeah, I think you're right in that aspect. I also think we attract certain situations and people in our lives. With me, I get the same person over and over again--thinking they are going to be different. 

I've pulled back from the relationship scene because I want to figure out why I attract these people and situations. I wish I had money for psychotherapy! But until then, I will just watch shows like 'Being Erica' and 'In Treatment' to search for clues as to what my damage is!

Ps--Will sell my beloved red chair in my photo for food. I'm not kidding. Smile