CommunityPam's House Blend

Question At The Marriage Chapel: "Are you a transsexual?"

For those who don’t think same-sex (gender neutral) marriage is a transgender issue too, take a look at the question they ask of all couples wanting to wed in Clark County, Ohio:

“Do you solemnly swear you are not a transsexual…”

The article further goes on to state:

…That might seem surprising in an age when the political spotlight is on gay marriage. In 2004, Ohio voters passed a constitutional amendment declaring marriage a union between one man and one woman.


But this section of Clark County’s marriage oath dates back to 1987. That was the year Stark County Probate Judge Denny Clunk wrote a landmark opinion denying a marriage license to a woman and her fiancé, who was born female but had a sex-change operation to become male. The ruling held that chromosomes, not genitals, determine sex.


Under Ohio law, the sex noted on the birth certificate is what counts when marriage licenses are considered. And that part of the birth certificate can’t be changed. So in the Stark County case, both applicants were considered to be women.


David Mattes served as Clark County Probate judge at the time of Clunk’s ruling. He said he figured he’d nip any potential problems in the bud by adding a line to the oath.


“It’s been there ever since,” Mattes said.  (emphasis added)


But when the article mentions one can’t change one’s birth certificate, that’s true in Ohio.  The article doesn’t mention that in about half of the states in the United States, one can change one’s birth certificate if one has sex reassignment surgery (SRS).  If one does have a changed birth certificate then, does Ohio under the Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution recognize the sex on the birth certificate, and thus recognize one can enter into a relationship with one man and one woman as a transwoman or transman?  I don’t know.


Quoting Mara Keisling of NCTE:

Every trans person who’s in a relationship, regardless of what their gender is or ever was they’re either in a same-sex relationship or in an opposite sex relationships that somebody could claim was a same-sex relationship.

Some examples — from the perspective of the transsexual partners– that go to the point of Mara’s statement: Same Sex, Opposite Sex.  Depending on who is looking at the relationships and under what circumstances, both examples are seen as same sex relationships by somebody.

Previous post

FDL Late Nite: Person of the Year

Next post

Sunday Talking Head Thread

Autumn Sandeen

Autumn Sandeen

21 Comments