Gay singer/songwriter Melissa Etheridge has split from her partner of nine years, actress Tammy Lynn Michaels.
The pair staged a commitment ceremony in 2003, and planned to make their union official after authorities in California gave homosexual couples the right to wed in 2008. The ruling was overturned just months later and the couple missed the chance to legally marry.
However, the pair has now gone their separate ways after nine years together.
A representative for Etheridge tells People.com, "Melissa and Tammy Etheridge are saddened to announce that they are now separated," while a statement from the former couple adds, "We ask for consideration and respect for our family as we go through this difficult period."
Tammy, 35, gave birth to the couple's twins, son Miller and daughter Johnnie, who were conceived via an anonymous sperm donor in 2006. Etheridge, 48, also has two kids - Bailey, 13, and Beckett, 11 - with former partner Julie Cypher.