May 1, 2008

Trans-Marriage Issues in the News

Posted in family, Identification, transgender at 11:55 am by Michael

Interesting article last Saturday in the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/fashion/27trans.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1&oref=slogin

They also had an article in the Sunday Magazine about gay marriage.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/magazine/27young-t.html

Good for them for writing about both of these issues – in the same edition no less….

I thought I’d add our own personal experience around the whole legality of marriage for trans-people, and some thoughts on what we’ve done to try to protect ourselves.

Anh and I are legally married. In Washington State at least (unlike at least 13 other states), gay marriage or domestic partnerships/civil unions are not illegal, but are also expressly not legal (Massachusetts and Hawaii being the exceptions on the marriage front).

However, we have a standard marriage license.

From all the legal advice that we have received, the state *cannot* (at least in Washington, and there is no record in the USA) void a legal marriage.

There is a super interesting question of what gender I am to the State of Washington. As I’ve said, I have an “F” driver license, but a male birth certificate (from Massachusetts). (I cannot get an F birth certificate from MA – the require SRS – same deal with my US Passport) If we were not married today, and wanted to get married, it is not legally clear if we could or could not.

Even though we are still “Legal”, we redid our wills in November, before I transitioned – with both my names (Michael and Megan), and we also had specific power of attorney, living will, and basically outlined all of the joint rights (including inheritance) that we have as a legally married couple in legal documents, so that our joint intent is clear.

Last month, we refinanced our house mortgage (lower rate) with the same bank that did our mortgage last summer. We had ZERO problems, and all they asked was if we wanted to hold the title/mortgage as a married couple, or as separate unmarried persons. We said “We are still legally married”, and that was that.

The whole silliness of the gay marriage issue (or strenuous opposition to same) is brought out by trans-marriage issues. I’d love for someone who is anti-gay marriage to explain to me how my marriage to Anh was “ok” on November 27, but  not “ok” on November 28, (Without invoking “God”) or also who I would be allowed to marry if Anh was not the light of my life….

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4 Comments »

  1. […] tampen vil jeg henlede oppmerksomheten mot Megan, som skriver om trans-ekteskap og hvordan disse synliggjør idiotien i å hindre folk i å gifte […]

  2. jennyjumps said,

    My only concern about changing laws to permit gay “marriage” distinct only linguistically from gay “civil union” is the persecution that religious leaders might endure by refusing to perform the junctions within their respective places of worship. Clearly the lack of legal uniformity within a single country presents an infuriating and ridiculous obstacle to the GLBT lifestyle. I’m glad this sort of thing is federally legislated up here in the north.

    Megan>> Just like Catholic priests won’t marry a couple today who haven’t gone through the right Pre-marital counseling, or some Rabbis (depending on sect) not wanting to marry Jews and non Jews, it seems to me that the freedom of religion (or from religion) – which I support – requires that religious groups be allowed to practice as they see fit. I don’t think there should be a requirement on any authorized person allowed to marry other persons (except those employed by the state – e.g. judges) if they have qualms about it. So, if Catholic priests don’t want to marry same-sex couples, no biggie. (IMHO) but having a judge do it, or some other authorized person is who is so inclined should be ok!

  3. Diane Juhas said,

    Gay marriage is not lebal in Hawaii. For some reason many people think it is legal, but, it’s not. The only states that allow gay marriage are Massachusetts (where I live now) and California (just recently).

  4. Diane Juhas said,

    I take exception to jennyjumps using the term “GLBT lifestyle.” I think GLBT community would be more acceptable.


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