Re: transgender marriage

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sun Jan 13 2002 - 23:46:16 MST

Spike Jones wrote:

> Samantha Atkins wrote:
>>Spike Jones wrote:
>>>This morning's SJ Merc has an article about a widow from
>>>Kansas who is being disinherited by her stepson. The
>>>stepson is challanging his father's marriage because the
>>>stepmother was born a man....
>>The wonderful state of Texas had a similar case a while back. A
>>transsexual woman who had had surgery decades before and gotten
>>married wished to contest her husband's wrongful death due to
>>medical malpractice. It was a pretty strong case and would have
>>been open and shut against the hospital normally. But defense
>>found out her history and said the case was invalid because the
>>marriage was invalid because she "is a man".... After all, Texas can't
>>to have it both ways. :)
>>- samantha
> I was delighted to see the Texas legislature having to face this
> down. One imagine the cowboy lawyers sitting around
> saying "Boys, we either hafta recognize the legitimacy of
> transgender surgery or the legitimacy of homosexual marriage.
> If we recognize neither, then we are saying the transgender
> has not the human right to marry, implying that the transgender
> is not human. The brain makes the human, so we would be
> saying that the brain resides in that organ that was removed in
> transgender surgery."

I think the correct term is "transsexual surgery" as it is
usually on the transsexual sub-group of transgender individuals
that are eligible for and/or desire such surgery. Gender is
orthogonal to sexuality of course so the issues should never
have been conflated to start with. If the state wants to impose
a "gender test" then it gets in deep do-do real fast with all
the varieties of human physical, brain and psychological gender.
A TS woman in a relationship with a non-TS man is not in any
sense in a homosexual relationship. Even the passport people
are happy to stamp an "F" on a male-to-female transsexual's
passport on proof of surgery. But the good state of Texas, or
some local good old boys on the bench anyway, think they know
better. I guess the "Transsexual Menace" group will just have
to pay them a visit. I don't think the "Texas T-Party" is very
happy about the situation either.

> Of those states that decided acknowledge transgender
> marriage only and not homosexual marriage, some will get
> hopelessly bogged down in the details. For instance, at
> what stage of gender transformation does the person become
> the target gender? Whenever they say? Does a doctor need

Well, for transsexuals (again somewhat distinct from the much
larger transgender superclass), different states have different
policies on name change, when gender is changed on the driver's
license, when you can get married to a person of the opposite
gender, whether you would be thrown into the men or women's jail
  if jailed and so on. Most change the driver's license with a
doctor's recommendation and after "chemical castration" meaning
that the person has been on hormones long enough to no longer be
functional in the old gender sexually and/or to be significantly
developed in the direction of the target gender. Most I am
aware of go by what is between your legs (born that way or from
surgery makes no difference) when deciding which jail to toss
you into, which has put more than one pre-op in a world of hurt
and great danger. A lot of cops think anyone not fully "normal"
in their estimation is simply "queer" as does a lot of the
population having little more than "Jerry Springer" to go on.
Name change varies from state to state. Changing sex on the
birth certificate varies from state to state and some states
simply won't do so in any circumstances. Passport stuff is
uniform in the US as far as I know.

> to declare the transformation more than halfway done? Can
> it be *any* doctor, including one who is him/herself
> transgender? Or what about a case like my cousin, born

If the doctor is credentialed then it is irrelevant whether they
  are transgendered or not. Accusations of bias should not be
made arbitrarily. Some of the best doctors and psychologists
out there dealing with transgender, inter-sexed and transsexual
issues are transgendered and specialized simply because they
wanted to contribute to others who were going through the same
stuff they did.

> ambiguously gender raised male, who married an ambiguous
> gender raised female? And what if a transgender male to
> female wishes to marry a transgender female to male? Would
> they not be a legitimate hetero marriage either way?

Looks like it to me. Of course those who have problems with all
that "wierd stuff" will consider it just plain "queer" either
way and thus forbidden or ignored and declared null and void
whenever someone takes a mind to.

> It will bring me much joy and laughter to read the body of law
> thus derived by some of those stodgy conservative southern
> states trying to grapple with these issues. Perhaps most
> states simply say eventually: marry whomever you want,
> with our unconditional blessing.

Yeah. And maybe they need at least 5 gender categories (a la
some sci-fi stories) while they are about it. Or perhaps they
will simply make specifying gender on most state forms as
optional as specifying race or ethnicity.

- samantha

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