Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Can't marry anyone

I've discussed previously the crazy quilt of state laws dealing with marriage where one partner is trans. Depending on the state, a transwoman may be legally female in one place, and legally male in another, meaning her marriage can come and go as she drives across the country. It's even more confusing than it is for us married gays and lesbians, and utterly random, showing the lunacy of the whole situation.

Here's the latest conundrum. A transwoman in Texas plans to marry her partner.
Sabrina J. Hill, 60, was born male and is listed as male on her birth certificate, which allowed her to marry her girlfriend Therese "Tee" Bur. Texas identifies marriage as a union between one man and one woman.
The precedent comes from a previous case in Texas, Littleton v. Prange, in which it was decided that the marriage between Christie and Jonathan LIttleton was invalid, because Christie Littleton was a transwoman and was born male.

So Sabrina's original birth certificate, which says she's a male, should be enough to allow her to marry her female partner, right?

Wrong: Texas is challenging this marriage too, because Sabrina has other documents saying she's female.

As Autumn Sandeen writes,
The bottom line is that in Texas, a trans woman (or a trans man) may find that even though Loving v. Virginia states: The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men.
Marriage is one of the "basic civil rights of man," fundamental to our very existence and survival.
...he, she, or ze may find that he, she, or ze functionally doesn't have the fundamental right to marry anyone at all.


JCF said...

What we see as ludicrous or outrageous, IT, many "cisgender" people may see as absolutely JUST.

You see, it's "it's" fault (Hill), because "it" messed w/ God's Plan. "It" doesn't have the right to marry ANYBODY. That'll show "it" . . . and all the other "its" (like me) who may be tempted to follow "it".

IT said...

And to me, JCF, it just proves the illogic of these kinds of rules---and the pure awful bigotry of some state officials in TX.

NancyP said...

The biological existence of intersex ought to be another argument that marriage ought not to be all about standardized "complementary" parts. AFAIK, there are plenty of "stealth" XY androgen insensitive people presenting as female, and some of them get married. Not to mention, XX and XY neonatal phallus size can overlap, and the obstetrician or pediatrician may well goof on the birth certificate. What with the clamor by conservatives to prevent changing birth certificates, intersex individuals would have no recourse for goofs.

Can conservative tendencies be treated? Shall the dread disease cranium-in-ano ever be cured?

IT said...

Nancy, nice to hear from you! I agree. Perhaps you know a surgeon who could give them a discount for that disease....

NancyP said...

No, the sufferer has to do his own extraction. Otherwise the cranium just snaps back in ano.

JCF said...

*LOL* NancyP!