Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Can Trans People Marry under Texas Law?
Don't Ask AG Abbott; He's Busy Right Now

Apparently Attorney General Greg Abbott is so busy suing the federal government that he can't be bothered to answer questions about Texas law from practicing attorneys in Texas which one might think is, you know, his job.

But either way, those of us who work in sex education and as allies and advocates for LGBTQ rights are often vexed by the questions that can bubble up around sex reassignment surgery, like if a bio-man is reassigned to female, could he marry another man as a woman? Or could he marry a woman, as a man?

Just such a case came up in El Paso County this year when a born-male transwoman requested a marriage license to marry her female partner by presenting her birth certificate, which said, of course, that she was male but presented a driver's license that said she was female. The County District Attorney wrote to Abbott for guidance, and was rebuffed pending another lawsuit in the state trying to answer the same question.

So...if a person meets the legal criteria for a marriage license, it would seem to me that they ought to be given the license. Even if they have documents that certify that they're either (or both) male or female, if the County is supposed to grant a license based on supporting documents, I don't see how they can turn down this woman's request.


  1. You are going on the basis that the government and laws should make sense and be decent to their citizens. There is a case in Houston and one in Dallas that have set precedent for having to have chromosomal basis for gender when it comes to marriage. This means it doesn't matter if you've had all the surgeries, have had all your documents changes, and paid all the money and time to get this done, you still can't get legally married. Good thing I don't believe they'll actually do blood tests at the justice of the peace's office.

  2. DVD-I totally agree :) Of course, it helps that most people educated in Texas public schools couldn't explain chromosomes if their life depended on it. Texas will go out of its way to make life hell for anybody outside the norm, but I think for straight-presenting trans people they won't have trouble. In this case, though, since the plaintiff is a trans woman trying to marry another woman, I doubt it'll get through. Which is bullshit, but hey...this is Texas.

  3. The question is...Do we stay and make it better, or get the eff out of here as fast as possible?

  4. Well...as the saying goes: You may go to hell, but I'll go to Texas. I don't think it was an accident that God brought me here. I wouldn't presume to leave til I'm told ;)