Moral Low Ground

US Government

Texas Republicans Trying to Revoke Transgender Marriage Rights

Texas was one of the last states in the US to allow transgendered people to use proof of their sex change to obtain marriage licenses. Now Republican lawmakers in the Lone Star State are trying to take that right away. According to the Associated Press and Raw Story, they’re sponsoring a bill that would bar district clerks from accepting the court order that recognizes proof of sex change as legal documentation for marriage licenses.

SB 723, co-sponsored by state Senator Tommy Williams of Houston and state Representative Lois Kolkhorst of Brenham, both Republicans, would effectively require the state to recognize a 1999 state appeals court ruling that affirmed that gender is determined at birth– for life. Thus, a baby born male will remain male in the eyes of the law for as long as the person lives, regardless of whether or not that person later identifies as a woman and undergoes sexual reassignment surgery (SRS). Such an outlook is extremely ignorant of the complexities of gender identity in transgendered individuals.

“If SB 723 gets a favorable vote it will enshrine Littleton v Prange (the 1999 ruling) logic– you are what the doctor put on your birth certificate– into Texas State law,” Meghan Stabler of the Human Rights Campaign told Raw Story.

“It appears the goal is to try to enshrine a really horrifying ruling and making it law in the state of Texas,” John Nechman, a Houston lawyer who represents clients in the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community told the AP.

“This bill is unprecedented anywhere in the country,” attorney Shannon Price Minter of the Transgender Law & Policy Institute told Raw Story. “No state has ever passed a law recognizing the existence of transgender people, then tried to take it back,” he added.

But Texas Governor Rick Perry, who says he will sign the bill if it makes it to his desk, shockingly admitted he never intended to permit transgendered people to get married. Perry, a Republican, says SB 723 is an effort to “clarify the unintended consequences” of the law that legalized proof of sex change as valid documentation to obtain marriage licenses.

“The governor has always believed and advocated that marriage is between a man and a woman,” gubernatorial spokesman Mark Miner stated.

Speaking of consequences, if this bill passes, married transgendered Texans could very well see their marriages nullified. One high-profile case involving Nikki Araguz, a transgendered woman married to a fireman killed in the line of duty, illustrates the possible pitfalls: the deceased’s family has sued Araguz to prevent her from gaining control of his $600,000 estate, claiming the marriage should have been void because she was born male. “This is crazy,” Araguz told the AP. “I feel like this is a personal attack on me. If this bill passed, it essentially means women like myself who have had reconstructive surgery will not be allowed to marry their heterosexual partner.”

“It would be terrible for Texas, now that if finally caught up with the rest of the country, to take a step back,” Minter told the AP.

But with a Republican-controlled House and Senate and a GOP governor, transgendered Texans might as well kiss their marriage rights goodbye. Such is the state of “compassionate conservatism” in the state that invented it.

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  1. John SmithApril 26, 2011 at 11:16 amReply

    I love how Araguz refers to himself as a woman. Just because you have your twigs and berries lopped off doesn’t mean you are now a woman. You’re just a dude with no nuts on a sickening amount of hormone therapy drugs. As an American I would never try to take away their right to disfigure themselves, but I, for one, find it gross and a tad bit nauseating. I guess that’s my right.

    • Brett WilkinsApril 26, 2011 at 1:23 pmReplyAuthor

      Your ignorance of gender identity issues is nothing short of appalling. Araguz was a woman long before she had her “twig and berries lopped off.” She was born a woman in a man’s body. What you call “disfigurement” is in actuality a “correction” of nature’s mistake. It is your right to find transgendered individuals “nauseating,” but by doing so you identify yourself as a bigot. May I ask where you live? Because here in San Francisco there are tens of thousands of transgendered individuals, some of whom even rise to prominent positions of power, like former Police Commissioner Teresa Sparks– who was born a man.

  2. John SmithApril 27, 2011 at 6:34 amReply

    Araguz was never a woman and will never be a woman. She is a biological man and now with the twisted use of surgery and hormones is trying to become something else. Not living near tens of thousands of misguided freakish science experiments doesn’t mean anything. I went to high school in El Sobronte and spent lots time of time in Oakland, San Fran and mostly in North Richmond. I also find NAMBLA to be nauseating. Am I now a double bigot? By the way, I relish the fact that you called me a bigot because I find some people disgusting. I also hate Al Quada. Oooh! What am I now? I am sorry but I cannot just love everyone. Some people really make me sick and trannies happen to be in that category. Anyway, I mostly feel very sorry for these people. They obviously need help. They are not psychologically right. They need help. I have no interest in parading around against these people nor do I want to associate with them either.

    • Brett WilkinsApril 27, 2011 at 10:30 amReplyAuthor

      NAMBLA, if my South Park viewing memory serves me correct, is the North American Man Boy Love Association, or something very similar, and as such, advocates sexual relationships between men and boys. This is patently illegal. Al-Qaeda is a terrorist organization with the blood of thousands of innocent Americans (not to mention thousands of other people) on their hands (even if we did create it). Please don’t make the same mistake of my less educated conservative family and friends who accuse me of tarring anyone who doesn’t agree with my worldview with the brush of bigotry. Being nauseated by people who want to rape children and kill innocent Americans is NOT the same as being sickened by perfectly normal human beings who only want to live their lives with the same freedom and dignity that you and I enjoy, and I think you know it. “Trannies,” as you call them (and the term is not completely demeaning if said with love), have committed no crime and are harming no one. You feel sorry for them? How compassionate of you. Having spent literally years around them, so do I sometimes– but only because of people like you who do not accept other human beings for the people they are and discriminate against others based sexual orientation and/or identity. I feel sorry for my transgendered friends because they cannot walk home late at night without fear of some psycho assaulting and murdering them or the police (even here) harassing them. They obviously need help? Yes, that is what hormone therapy and sexual reassignment surgery are for many of them. A way to reconcile their true selves with the cards nature dealt them. Do you have a problem with a US soldier who lost a leg in Iraq getting a prosthetic one? Do you have a problem with a child born with a defective organ getting a transplant? Then why do you have a problem with a man who happens to be born with a vagina correcting nature’s mistake? There was an interesting story on the National Geographic Channel a couple of years back about an Iraq war veteran who got an MRI and found out he had a uterus and ovaries. Nature doesn’t always do a perfect job, Mr. Smith. Just look at all the kids with autism or Down Syndrome. Not saying they’re not wonderful people, but obviously genetic mistakes were made. Let me ask you: do you have a problem with gay men or lesbians, or just transsexuals? Let me also ask you this hypothetical question… which would you rather your son be, a transsexual, a bank robber or, or born blind?

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