Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Loophole

Gay marriage is almost universally opposed by Republicans and Democrats alike. But transsexualism has somehow slipped through the cracks. It's not OK for a butch dyke to marry hir partner, but said butch dyke is awarded a marriage license if s/he takes testosterone and cuts off hir boobs. It seems odd that the same state governments that trip over themselves to ban gay marriage in as many ways as they possibly can (22 states ban it by both statute and constitutional amendment) allow people to change their gender on official documents, tacitly accepting the idea that gender doesn't always match sex.

At least one county in Ohio has sniffed out the loophole and closed it. You must solemnly swear not to be a transsexual to get a marriage license in Clark County, whose county seat is Springfield.

The Springfield News-Sun reporter thinks the policy is a real hoot, because people obviously know if their partner is transsexual. Not only is that not necessarily true, but the reporter assumes that no one would knowingly want to marry a trans person. Maybe that's for the best.

1 comment:

Elana said...

Shudder. On my more optimistic days, I don't think a clause like that would stand up to a lawsuit, since it's not just saying transpeople can't marry someone "opposite" their post-transition sex, it's denying them the right to marry altogether.

Where did you find this lovely little specimen? I especially loved the caption "During the marriage license oath, couples are asked whether either person is a transsexual or has syphilis." Because being trans and having syphilis are so similar.

The idea that no one would ever want to marry a trans person is disgustingly common among self-proclaimed liberals too (which I'm sure you know already)... last year at a New Year's party with my then-girlfriend, who is trans, someone I'd just met that night took it upon himself to shake my hand in recognition of my "bravery," and "daring" for staying with my partner even though she's trans. Never even thought to consider that I might have already known when we started dating (I didn't, but still), or that bravery never came into it at all. I still kind of regret not punching him in the face.