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Lesbian's name change freaks Alabama judge

Elmore County Probate judge Jimmy Stubbs says he was hoodwinked into issuing a marriage license to a lesbian couple.

It’s a legal name change, so what’s the problem? You don’t have to have a sex-change to use a traditionally male name. The marriage license was rescinded, but why didn’t the judge check things out before issuing it?

A suburban Montgomery judge has invalidated the marriage of a couple he says misled him. In December 2003 Elmore County Probate judge Jimmy Stubbs issued a marriage license to Joseph Cutcher and Patricia Hammon.

But, following an anonymous telephone tip last week Stubbs discovered that Cutcher was a woman.

Born Juanita Cutcher she legally changed her name to Joseph two years earlier. “To me, they just falsified to the court, or to this office, what they [were] doing.” Stubbs told WSFA television.

Elmore County’s District Attorney and its Sheriff are trying to determine if any law has been broken. The National Center for Lesbian Rights is also investigating. A spokesperson for District Attorney Randal Houston said that although Cutcher had changed her name she has never applied to have her birth certificate or drivers license amended indicating she does not regard herself as transsexual.

Houston’s office believes Cutcher changed her name for the sole purpose of entering into a same-sex marriage. Alabama has a ‘Defense of Marriage Act’ which bars same-sex marriage. This November voters will decide whether to enshrine that in the state constitution.

Hat tip, to bloggrrrl Ms. Julien, who is not in Miami enjoying Rita’s “visit.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding