The Superior Court of California held that the marriage of Jake Miller, who uses the stage name Buck Angel, was valid. He and his wife Elayne Angel were married in Louisiana after Buck had obtained a California court order recognizing his male sex and had been living as a man for years. His California birth certificate was amended several years after the marriage. In an effort to avoid paying spousal support, Elayne attempted to argue that their marriage was invalid on the grounds that Buck’s birth certificate had not yet been amended to reflect his male sex at the time the Louisiana marriage took place. The California court ruled that Buck was legally male, and that Louisiana law would recognize this as a marriage between a man and a woman.
An Arizona Appeals Court ruled that the marriage of Thomas Beatie and Nancy J. Beatie was valid and could be dissolved by divorce. A previous court had ruled that Beatie, who is female, was legally female because he had not been sterilized and because he had given birth to the couple’s children, and therefore held their marriage was invalid because of Arizona’s ban on same-sex marriage.
Heli Hämäläinen, who came out as transgender during her marriage, lost her lawsuit in the European Court of Human Rights that she should be allowed to be legally recognized as a female without changing her marital status. Because of Finland’s prohibition on same-sex marriage, Heli, 49, is not able to obtain legal recognition of her sex unless she converts her 18-year marriage into a civil partnership.
She has already had to undergo a psychiatric assessment and sterilization as part of the Finland’s legal requirements for “gender recognition.”
Marriages between transgender individuals will be recognized as legal in Hong Kong beginning July whether or not lawmakers are able to meet the deadline for passing the marriage amendment bill.
A major American car manufacturer reversed an initial decision to deny the woman her husband’s pension benefits based on its determination that their nearly-30-year marriage was void because he was transgender.
A transgender woman denied benefits after her firefighter husband died in the line of duty will get another chance to litigate the case in a state district courtroom, the 13th Court of Appeals ruled. Nikki Araguz was denied benefits when the mother and ex-wife of late husband Thomas Trevino Araguz III filed a lawsuit claiming their marriage was void because of Texas’ ban on same-sex marriage. The Texas appellate court held that Texas law recognizes that an individual who has had a “sex change” is eligible to marry a person of the opposite sex. The appellate court remanded the case to the trial court to litigate the issue of Araguz’ sex.
We hope Nikki prevails.
The applicant complained of the lack of legal recognition of her changed sex and in particular of her treatment in terms of employment and her social security and pension rights and of her inability to marry.
The Court held that there had been a violation of Article 8 (right to respect for private and family life) of the Convention, owing to a clear and continuing international trend towards increased social acceptance of transsexuals and towards legal recognition of the new sexual identity of post-operative transsexuals. “Since there are no significant factors of public interest to weigh against the interest of this individual applicant in obtaining legal recognition of her gender re-assignment, the Court reaches the conclusion that the notion of fair balance inherent in the Convention now tilts decisively in favour of the applicant” (§ 93 of the judgment).
The Court also held that there had been a violation of Article 12 (right to marry and found a family) of the Convention. It was “not persuaded that it [could] still be assumed that [the terms of Article 12] must refer to a determination of gender by purely biological criteria” (§ 100). The Court held that it was for the State to determine the conditions and formalities of transsexual marriages but that it “finds no justification for barring the transsexual from enjoying the right to marry under any circumstances” (§ 103).