Today in The Times, op-ed contributor Jennifer Finney Boylan looks at the incidental ‘gay’ marriages that occur when one individual in an opposite sex marriage undergoes a sex change and the convoluted laws that apply to such arrangements.
One example is a 1999 Texan ruling regarding spousal inheritance that determined marriage could only be between those with different chromosomes (which any biology student knows does not necessarily determine sex). The lawyer for the transgendered plaintiff, Mrs. Littleton, explained the absurdity:
“Taking this situation to its logical conclusion, Mrs. Littleton, while in San Antonio, Tex., is a male and has a void marriage; as she travels to Houston, Tex., and enters federal property, she is female and a widow; upon traveling to Kentucky she is female and a widow; but, upon entering Ohio, she is once again male and prohibited from marriage; entering Connecticut, she is again female and may marry; if her travel takes her north to Vermont, she is male and may marry a female; if instead she travels south to New Jersey, she may marry a male.”
Read the full letter here.